Rebensburg wins 2nd straight GS, Vonn 2nd
Aspen, CO Colorado
OFTERSCHWANG, Germany – Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany won her second straight World Cup giant slalom on Saturday, while overall leader Lindsey Vonn had a blazing final run to finish second.
Rebensburg’s consecutive wins in two days put her in a good position to retain her giant slalom title. Vonn was sixth after the first run but produced the fastest second heat to finish 0.26 seconds behind the German.
“This is only my third career giant slalom podium. I’m really proud of the way I skied the second run,” Vonn said.
Tina Maze of Slovenia finished third and trails Vonn in the overall by 494 points. A win is worth 100 points.
Vonn trailed Rebensburg 1.68 seconds after the first run in sunny, mild weather and a softening course. But the American came back to post her best giant slalom result this season after winning the opening race in October in Soelden, Austria.
“I had problems on the first run, I hit my goggles on a gate and could not see and struggled just to make it to the bottom,” Vonn said.
The second run was set by U.S. coach Roland Pfeifer and was about 10 seconds shorter than the first heat.
“I went for the most direct line possible and risked a lot and was able to make up a lot of time,” Vonn said. “I was thinking I could maybe get the win, but (Rebensburg) was just too strong today.”
Vonn moved up to second in the giant slalom standings behind Rebensburg. With two races left, Rebensburg has 490 points and Vonn 355. Tessa Worley of France, who held a 20-point lead going into the weekend, failed to qualify for the second heat and is third at 346.
Anna Fenninger of Austria, who was second after the first run, dropped to fourth.
Overall, Vonn is closing in on her points record in a season. She has 1,708 and needs 80 more to tie her 2009 season total of 1,788.
“I have been thinking about the 2,000 point mark since about the St. Moritz races (in January),” Vonn said. “I am not focusing too much on it, but it is definitely at the back of my mind.
“This year the tech races have been going well and now I am second in the giant slalom standings. To me, that is a huge accomplishment.”
Several top racers failed to finish on the mushy course, including Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, Julia Mancuso of the United States and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.