the form of podium finishes in the six consecutive World Cup races that followed
her post-World Championships hiatus.
“That break she had after the medal at World Championships [a silver in down-
hill] was totally the right decision,” said U.S. women’s head coach Alex Hoedl-
moser. “She got some rest, which was really important, and then the new mission
started. She just started focusing on every race — one at a time — and started
Riesch, on the other hand, had pounded through her home World Champs fight-
ing flu symptoms all the while. Her 29th-place finish in the GS was her worst
result in a race she finished all season. Vonn saw one more way she could make
up some points at Finals.
“Right now I feel fresh and I have lots of energy,” said Vonn. “I’m ready for the
Rebensburg, who also won the last World Cup GS in Arber-Zwiesel more than
a month earlier, came into the weekend trailing Worley (who also has three wins
this season) by 23 points at the top of the giant slalom rankings. Rebensburg took
over the lead with a 77-point advantage. She would never let go.
World Championships gold and silver medalists Tina Maze of Slovenia and Fed-
erica Brignone of Italy were just off the podium on fourth and fifth, respectively.
Julia Mancuso, who turned 27 two days earlier, put two solid runs together to fin-
ish sixth after standing ninth in the first run for her second-best GS result of the
season (fifth in Semmering). It was her 17th top- 10 finish of the season. Sarah
Schleper finished 20th after standing 26th in the first run. Laurenne Ross didn’t
qualify for the second run after finishing 41st in the first run.
The race also marked the World Cup debut of 15-year-old American Mikaela
Shiffrin, who won a World Juniors bronze medal in the slalom and would go on
to take the NorAm slalom title as a rookie with three wins. The Burke Mountain
Academy product got her first taste of the White Circus in the 46th bib among 49
racers. She finished the first run in 43rd, 4. 64 seconds behind the leader.
“It’s so hard to describe the feeling I get in the start,” said Shiffrin, who turned 16
two days later. “It’s like the dream is really coming true now. It’s something close
Shiffrin tried to soak in as much as she could while being surrounded by her
World Cup heroes. “They’re pretty busy here trying to fend for the overall and
slalom globes,” said Shiffrin. “I’m just watching them from afar and getting all the
information I need. It’s been amazing.”
Viktoria Rebensburg took the
giant slalom lead for the last
time this season.
SkiRacing.com APRIL 7, 2011 | 22