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Maze wins women's World Cup giant slalom

ASPEN, Colorado (AFP) –

Tina Maze of Slovenia celebrates after winning the women's World Cup giant slalom in Aspen

Tina Maze of Slovenia celebrates after winning the women’s World Cup giant slalom in Aspen.

Slovenia’s Tina Maze won the women’s World Cup giant slalom on Saturday, ahead of Austrian Kathrin Zettel and Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg.

Maze is now two-for-two in giant slaloms this season, after winning the fog-hit season-opener in the discipline at Soelden on October 27.

Maze, who finished runner-up to American Lindsey Vonn last year in the World Cup overall race, posted a combined time for the two legs of 1min 59.39sec.

That was nearly a second faster than Zettel’s combined 2:00.29, while Rebensburg had a total of 2:00.93.

For Zettel, a 26-year-old who has eight World Cup wins but battled injury in recent seasons, it was another runner-up finish after her second place behind Maze in Soelden.

Vonn, still regaining total fitness after an intestinal ailment landed her in hospital for two days this month, was 10th after the first run, but was clearly worn out by the effort.

The four-time overall World Cup champion finished 21st, more than three seconds off the pace, with her decision to skip Sunday’s slalom looking like the right one.

“I’m tired,” Vonn said after her opening run. “But I thought I actually skied really well. Considering everything, I thought it was a great run.”

Vonn admitted she was disappointed in the result, but said she knows she must give herself time.

“This isn’t exactly the kind of result I was hoping for,” she said. “But I have to still keep things in perspective and realize that I was very sick just a few days ago. I’m just happy to be racing again.”

Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch caught an edge and lost her balance on the opening run. She skied into a gate and bruised her arm.

“It hurts pretty bad,” said the German, who still planned to race on Sunday. “I’m really disappointed because I had good training the last two weeks.”

Maze changed ski technicians prior to the season and the move is paying off.

In addition to her two giant slalom victories, she was fourth in a slalom at Levi a fortnight ago.

“It’s my first victory in the United States, my second of the season. I’m very proud of the way I’m skiing,” Maze said. “

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