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Vonn still looking for first World Cup giant slalom win

Eric Willemsen
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Lindsey Vonn of the United States reacts at finish line after an alpine ski, Women's World Cup Giant Slalom in Maribor, Slovenia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
AP | AP

MARIBOR, Slovenia ” Lindsey Vonn posted the second-fastest time in the final run of a World Cup giant slalom Saturday, but will have to wait for her first win in the discipline.

The defending overall champion climbed from 15th after the opening leg to finish seventh, 1.52 seconds behind Tina Maze of Slovenia, who won the race in front of 10,000 cheering home fans.

“Overall it was pretty good,” said Vonn, who needs a giant slalom win to become only the fifth woman to earn World Cup wins in all five disciplines. “The first run wasn’t as good as what I hoped for. I had some troubles at the bottom part with the ice. Fortunately, I had a much better second run.”

Vonn, a speed specialist, had her best result in a giant slalom in November when she finished fourth in Aspen, Colo. The 24-year-old American captured her first slalom win earlier this season.

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In the overall standings, Vonn closed in on leader Maria Riesch of Germany, who finished 12th. Riesch has 629 points, Tanja Poutiainen of Finland has 584 and Vonn has 566.

A slalom is scheduled for Sunday.

“I fought hard and got some good points,” Vonn said. “I am ready for Sunday’s slalom, but I am really looking forward to get back to the speed events after that. These are what I love.”

Julia Mancuso had two runs without obvious errors but finished 27th. Teammate Megan McJames was 24th despite skiing with a plate for her broken wrist, which she injured during a downhill in November at Lake Louise, Alberta.

Maze was second after the opening leg but had the fastest second run to finish with a combined time of 2 minutes, 45.15 seconds.

Denise Karbon of Italy led after the first leg but lost time in the final part of her second run to finish second, 0.39 seconds behind Maze. Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany was third, while Poutiainen, the World Cup giant slalom leader, took fourth.

“I am excited and surprised,” the 25-year-old Maze said. “I knew I could keep up with the fastest skiers and hoped for a top-10 finish, but winning was beyond expectations.”

Maze has won six of her seven titles in giant slalom, though her last win in the discipline came in 2005 in Soelden, Austria


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