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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Garmisch ends in Tinas' favor

The long weekend of speed races that took place in Garmisch P.K. was full of surprises and thrill, records which got broken and bettered, but also showed some of the darkest sides of sport, when Alice McKennis, the young American specialist of speed races, crashed suffering a severe injure at her tibia and later the same day, Tina Maze recived some life threatening which forced her to be escorted to the slopes for the last day.

Weirather wins her maiden race

Friday was the day the first Superg took place, it was the replacement of the one cancelled in Val D'Isere and the eyes of the fans were all set on Maze and Mancuso, as the two were very close before this race battling for the cristal globe for the discipline, but the this time, no-one of the two took the win.
The young girl from Liechtenstein, who's known not only for her famous parents, but also for the great talent and the incredible high number of severe injuries she suffered, started with a very early number, but very motivated by the knowledge of her good feeling with the slope, since last year she scored here one of the two podiums in the discipline she achieved so far. Tina, despite finishing 2nd in the final downhill ranking last year, had never won a race in WC and after a promising start in Lake Louise this year, a minor injury relegated her to some minor placements far from the podium. Today it was different though and she let all the bad thoughts behind the very moment she opened the starting gate, she pushed hard and tried to cut the lines and suceeded in doing so. Tina was almost flawless and no-one later in the race could better her time, giving finally the first victory in world cup to her.
Podium got completed by the two rivals for the cristal globe and to add more suspence to the chase of the cup, Julia Mancuso and Tina Maze scored exactly the same time to finish 2nd.
4th came Austrian Anna Fenninger just ahead of compatriot Nicole Hosp (at the best placement in two years) and in-form Spanish Ruiz-Castillo.

Maze wins and breaks 2000 points

"The most amazing thing from today it was that I won a Downhill. This season I had several good runs, but I never found the victory. My first win was lucky, but today I tried to win by skiing my best" Those were the words of Tina Maze after the incredible win scored in the Downhill of Saturday, with this victory Tina becomes the 3rd woman to ever win in all the disciplines within the same season (after Kronberger and Kostelic), not only, she broke the limit of 2000 points when 7 races are still left and goes just one point away from winning the Downhill cup too.
How could she win this? When the first girls came down Italian Merighetti was leading the race with a solid advantage, but right after her run American McKennis crashed in the final section with the horrible outcome of a severe injury that forced the helicopter to come and recue her. The interruption changed the conditions of the snow which became a lot faster and so the race suddenly changed in its lead.
Lara Gut scored a terrific run and looked on her way for a great result, but not longly after it was Maze's time to test the slope. Tina stayed close to the swiss already in the gliding early section which is always her weak-spot. After that it was just a pure show of class: the Slovene painted incredible lines and attacked the slope with the temper that characterizes her best days. She finished with 74 hundreds over Lara and you could know she was safe for another podium, but she wanted more, she wanted that win.
Not even the home favourite Maria Riesch could do better trajectories than Maze and despite having a small edge on her in the gliding sections, the German couldn't snatch a win on home soil and prevent Maze from taking everything from this win. The slope turned to get faster with the time passing though and Riesch couldn't hold her 2nd place as Laurenne Ross, another youngster of the American Team, made even Tina fear for the worst, but in the end closed behind the World Cup leader, still ahead of the German and by this, scoring her best result in WC.

Fenninger wins first Superg 

Another day, another superg, same rivalry from two days before. But today in Garmisch the setting was quite different and a lot more challenging, mostly because a lot of gates where "blind", hidden behind really tricky waves.
During the night a terrible news hit the German town as Tina Maze recived death threatens from some unknown man and police patroled her hotel and then escorted her to the lifts in the morning.
The new setting seem to suit again the abilities of Tina Weirather as she took the lead and didn't leave it until the top group was to start. Julia Mancuso, this time though, was faster than Tina and made some unbelievable turns up in the steep part to take the lead of the race.
Immediatly after her run it was Maze's time and Tina looked eager for another win, but a bad mistake on one of those nasty waves cost her all the advantage she had over the American and in the end she couldn't make up for that and had to content herself to finish just behind her rival.
The race was far from being decided though, Maria Riesch wanted badly to take a win in her home race and she fought very hard in order to do so. A very smart attitude on the difficult passages and the usual great gliding in the flat sections secured her a good lead in the last intermediate and not even the impressive last leg of the American couldn't make her lose all the advantage.
Riesch's leadership wasn't meant to last and the cheerful screaming of the German crowd was to be silenced soon as Austrian Anna Fenninger exploited her great talent of GS specialist in the big turns of the middle section and this way she launched the final flat at an incredible speed, worth of the best time there and even on the final.
Germany could soon forget the missed-win from Riesch as Veronique Hronek skied some great sections and was leading for half of the race and despite the mistake where many of the racers went out, she could still finish 5th, her best result in World Cup.

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