Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mikaela Shiffrin and Anna Fenninger Tie in World Cup Opening GS in Sölden


The 2014/15 Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup opened today on the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden (Tirol, Austria) and the home team put on an outstanding show for the crowd of more than 13,000 as the Austrians placed two ladies on the giant slalom podium, and three in the top four, including co-winner Anna Fenninger.
Only USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin spoiled the Austrian party as she made up time on the lower half of the course and managed to tie Fenninger for the victory. The duo finished in 2:39:85. Eva-Maria Brem (Austria) finished 0.27 off the pace in third place, followed closely by teammate Kathrin Zettel 0.02 behind.
"It was already an amazing season last year and to start the season like this is a dream", said Fenninger. "I was nervous at the start, but I tried to focus on my run and I’m glad to be able to come away with the win". After the first run, Fenninger was 0.09 seconds behind Shiffrin, clocking a time of 1:17:93.
It was Fenninger’s fifth straight Giant Slalom win as she picked up right where she left off last season after winning the last four Giant Slalom World Cup races and claiming the giant slalom and overall title. But Shiffrin showed today that expanding her focus from her stronghold of Slalom has paid off in the off season with the co-victory, her first-ever in the Giant Slalom.
"I have wanted this so badly for so long, but I’m not sure this one counts as Anna is making it very difficult for me to win my first GS alone", said a happy Shiffrin after the race.
The weather Gods were smiling on Sölden this weekend as the skiers enjoyed much better than expected conditions after the Austrian resort got a strong snowfall in the middle of the week followed by 36 hours of clear weather to prepare the course. While conditions were bumpy for the skiers, it could have been far worse as just one week ago much of the glacier was looking brown instead of white.

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