Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Frida Hansdotter Takes Victory in Flachau


More than 15'000 spectators flocked into town on Tuesday evening for the 5thnight slalom race staged in Flachau. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter took advantage of a 0.23 second lead from the first run to remain in first place after a very solid second run under the floodlights. She posted a combined winning time of 1:49.59, while runner-up of the day Slovenia's Tina Maze was 0.61 seconds off the pace. USA's Mikaela Shiffrin, who was 8th after the first run, put everything on the line to finally get on the podium, just a mere 0.02 seconds behind Maze.
29-year-old Frida Hansdotter, who finished fourth in the last two slalom World Cup races in Kühtai and Zagreb, earned her second career World Cup victory in the last slalom before the World Championships.
"I really love that night race here in Flachau and it's such a nice feeling to win tonight", she confessed. "The crowd is amazing and the atmosphere is great. Today I felt this could be my day. I just tried to go for it and it went well".
With top-4 finishes in each of the six slalom races this season, the Swede keeps the red bib. Going into tonight's race, she only had a 1-point margin over Shiffrin. She now has a total of 420 points, with Shiffrin 41 points behind.
With the second place, which is her career best result in Flachau, Tina Maze added another podium to her incredible tally, equalling Anita Wachter with 75 top-3 finishes wich ranks her 10th among ladies with most World Cup podiums.
"I was training well in the last days and was pretty confident about my slalom here. I did pretty good, it's a great result and I am very happy about it".
Snow Space Princess in 2013 and 2014, Mikaela Shiffrin didn't seem to mind that the title went to another racer tonight.
"I think three times Snow Space Princess would be too many and think Flachau likes to have a little bit of a change of things", she said laughing. "It's just nice to be on the podium today (...) In the first run I skied pretty conservative, pretty round especially compared to the girls after me. But I mostly tried to attack more. I felt like the surface was better and I was able to edge more in the snow and arc cleaners turns. I still didn't think my second run was good enough to win".

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