American Stiegler fourth in slalom
November 11, 2007
REITERALM, Austria ” Defending World Cup champion Marlies Schild won the season-opening slalom Saturday despite losing time after losing control of her ski on her second run.
Schild edged teammate Nicole Hosp by 0.06 on a day where racers battled heavy snowfall on the Gasselhoehe course. She finished with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 55.53 seconds.
“I raced to the limits in my second run,” said Schild, who was third after the first run. “I made a horrendous error as I lost control over my ski. That cost a lot of speed, so it’s kind of a miracle that I still won.”
Chiara Costazza, who led after the first run, was 0.30 behind Schild to place third for her first World Cup podium finish.
“If Marlies had not made that error, she would have beaten me by more than a second,” Hosp said.
American Resi Stiegler finished fourth in 1:55.94 ” her best result ever in a World Cup race.
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“I’ve never seen so much snow,” Stiegler said in a U.S. Ski Team news release.
“Finishing 11-hundredths off the podium and just .4 away from the win in these conditions shows how well Resi’s skiing,” said Chris Knight, the U.S. women’s technical head coach. “She’s got great balance now and she’s skiing with good confidence, so she didn’t get rattled in these conditions. A gust of wind kicked up snow in her face just as she approached the entry of the first hairpin, so she lost a lot of time at the top. But then Resi took off and powered her way down to the finish.
Lauren Ross, the only other U.S. racer, skied off course at the bottom of her first run.
Each course had 64 gates and, despite the steadily falling snow, course conditions were nearly perfect, Stiegler said.
“Even Lauren, who went 57th in the first run, said it was great at the top ” it stayed hard ” although it got dished out at the bottom,” Stiegler said. “I couldn’t believe how good it was.”
Defending slalom world champion Sarka Zahrobska was seventh, 0.65 behind Schild, and two-time overall champion Anja Paerson trailed by 1.51 to finish 12th.
“It was very hard to do well here under these circumstances,” Paerson said. “For me, it’s hard to concentrate on four disciplines, so that’s why my slalom performances aren’t that good these days.”
The slalom race was originally scheduled for Levi, Finland, but was moved to Austria because of poor snow conditions.
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