Rebensburg ends Maze winning streak
ARE, Sweden (AFP) –
German Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg won Wednesday’s women’s World Cup giant slalom at Are, ending a four-race winning streak by Slovenian star Tina Maze.
Rebensburg won in 2min 28.94sec to see off Austria’s Anna Fenninger by 0.62 sec with overall season standings leader Maze, who stood second after the opening run, only able to manage third place at 0.91sec.
The German star as good as wrapped up the win with an imperious opening run which saw her outspeed Maze by 1.12sec, though she came very close to falling on her second run and ultimately did enough to see off her rivals.
Rebensburg has had a poor season overall to date – the Vancouver Games champion could only manage 15th in a weekend giant slalom at Courchevel, but on Wednesday she showed she is back in the groove.
“I am proud to win this after such a blow at Courchevel (where) things just didn’t come together,” said the German.
“That’s why I stayed calm and just tried to ski well – I am relieved it went so well. I feel just great,” said the 23-year-old after her first World Cup win in the discipline since last March, since when she has been struggling to adapt to new and longer skis.
Maze, who won the silver medal in Vancouver, thus saw her winning run come to an end after successes at Courchevel, Saint-Moritz, Aspen and Soelden.
Even so, her third place ensures she still comfortably sits atop the overall rankings with 859 points, 351 ahead of Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, sixth on Wednesday.
US legend Lindsey Vonn decided to miss the race in order to return home for the holiday period to the United States.
The 28-year-old four-time World Cup overall champion has had an up and down season, being hospitalised with a painful intestinal ailment and then bouncing back to win all three races at the Lake Louise meeting to become the first skier to win three World Cup races at the same venue in two different seasons.
However, she had a rare fall in the downhill at Val D’Isere at the weekend and said she felt tired on her Facebook page, and on Monday the US team confirmed that the reigning Olympic downhill champion was heading home for a rest.
“Struggling to find the energy I usually have…going to think hard over the next few days about my plan for the coming weeks and how to get strong again. Trying to stay positive,” she wrote on her Facebook page.