Are Val d’Isere
Vonn kicks off the holiday season with her 25th
World Cup win, at Val d’Isere; Worley, Aubert are
the belles of the Swedish ball BY SHAUNA FARNELL
French skier Tessa Worley capitalized on her first-run lead in the FIS Audi
women’s World Cup giant slalom race in Are, Sweden, winning the race by
more than a half a second in a combined time of 2 minutes, 23.22 seconds.
It was just the second victory of the young racer’s World Cup career. Worley,
who just turned 20, also won last year’s GS race in Aspen, and has landed
only two other World Cup top-10s since 2007.
“I didn’t want to calculate, so I just went like the first run,” Worley said. “It
was a bit tougher the second, but I’m really happy I did it. I can’t really believe
it yet but I’m so happy. It’s great.”
She edged out Are defending GS champion Tina Maze of Slovenia, who was
0.57 seconds behind her. Kathrin Zettel, who has finished on the podium in
every event she’s raced so far this season, was third, 0.69 seconds back. She
was second in the Aspen and Soelden GS races and third in the Aspen slalom.
She missed the slalom in Levi due to illness.
After unleashing her trademark roar in the start gate, Vail’s Sarah Schleper
landed her best result since February 2006, finishing eighth.
Schleper, who finished second in a NorAm slalom race in Loveland, Colo.,
following her 23rd place in the last Cup GS race in Aspen, crossed the finish
line in Are and said to the cameras: “Denise, I miss you. Come back soon.”
She was presumably speaking to Italian GS specialist Denise Karbon, who is
sidelined for the next couple of weeks following a meniscus tear in the Aspen
GS race on Nov. 28 and ensuing minor surgery. Julia Mancuso was the only
other American in the second run, finishing 16th.
“I just skied clean and I was doing what I’ve been doing in training and that
paid off,” Schleper said. “I tried to attack and do everything right.”
Schlep went from 19th after the initial run to first after the second run for a
combined time of 2: 24.94. She said she was fired up by touching her hip to
the ground around a gate at the top of the second run.
Are Slalom, Dec. 13
French racer Sandrine Aubert claimed the slalom course once again in Are,
sneaking by world slalom champion Maria Riesch for the win.
Aubert, who won the last two World Cup slaloms last season — the final
race in Are as well as the previous race in Ofterschwang — flew down the
second run for a combined time of 1 minute, 43.24 seconds; it was 0.45
seconds ahead of Riesch, who led the first run.
When asked if it was her plan to win a second time at Are, Aubert laughed
and said: “Yeah, it was my plan. I was thinking yesterday, ‘How can I do that
a second time?’ Now that I’ve done it, it’s incredible to me.” As for beating