Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gagnon's Surprise Victory in Zauchensee Super Combined

After finishing 16th in the Super-G run this morning, 1.37 seconds behind Nicole Hosp's leading time, Canada's Marie-Michèle Gagnon logged the fastest time in the slalom run to earn her first ever career World Cup victory. Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser took second, 0.32 seconds off the pace while Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch ended in third, 0.39 seconds back, for a second podium in two days.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon has had the best season start of her young career so far and her first victory was not far away. Her personal best so far was a third position in Are slalom in March 2012.
"It's amazing and to be honest I was quite surprised", she admitted. "I knew I had to do a really good slalom since I was more than a second behind after the super-G run. So I entered the slalom without too much of expectation. I skied freely and that helped me give my best".
20th at the end of the first run, Michaela Kirchgasser showcased her slalom talent to land her fourth career podium in super combined. "I knew it was possible after the super G run because I wasn't that far behind", she explained. "2014 began with a great result and that feels so good. I am now really looking forward to the night slalom in Flachau. Three races in a row on home snow is something really special and enjoyable".
With the 60 points won today, Maria Höfl-Riesch takes the lead in the overall standings back with a total of 731 points, 22 more than Anna Fenninger, who placed 8th today.
"To be on the podium twice in two days is really nice, I am definitely happy about it", said Höfl-Riesch."There is however a bit of disappointment since it was not perfect skiing from me in the downhill yesterday and the super g today. I missed the second place only by 0.07 seconds yesterday as well. That's a great overall performance that gives me a lot of confidence, going into the next race in Flachau".

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