Slovenian Tina Maze Wins Aspen World Cup GS; Shiffrin Solid, Vonn Returns
Slovenia’s Tina Maze won her second consecutive giant slalom of the season as the Winternationals at Aspen, Colo. jumped off Saturday. American Lindsey Vonn returned to the race course after a 3-day hospitalization last week and finished 21st.
But, the signal of things to come came from, as expected, young Michaela Shiffrin, 17, of Eagle-Vail, Colo. Shiffrin put together two solid runs, coming out of a 42nd start position to finish ninth. That was her career best for the GS.
Shiffrin, 17, finished third in the last World Cup slalom event in Finland, and will be in the spotlight Sunday as the Nature Valley Winternationals turn to the slalom event.
But, for Saturday, Maze, 29, turned in a combined time of 1 minute, 59:39 seconds for her two runs, beating Austria’s Kathrin Zettel by 0.90 seconds – the same one-two finish as last month’s season-opener in Austria.
"I feel like people are watching me now, more than before," the fun-loving Maze said, doing a cartwheel after the win. "I'd like it to continue this way."
Vonn was in 10th position after the first run, but her second run was the third slowest. She collapsed in exhaustion after crossing the finish line in the second pass.
"I didn't have the energy I needed to really be competitive," Vonn told the Associated Press. "It's been a real fight to even be able to race today. I didn't have it.
"I'm a competitor. This isn't exactly the kind of result I was hoping for. 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." She said she would skip Sunday’s slalom to conserve her energy.
The World Cup men were racing in the season’s first downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta Saturday. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal beat Austrian Max Franz by 0.64 seconds. American Marco Sullivan tied for third.
Photo: Slovenia's Tina Maze wins Aspen Giant Slalom (AP)