Skiing

Rebensburg wins super-G race, Maze takes discipline lead

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Associated Press
1/20/2013 9:31:53 AM
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CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy -- Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany won a shortened World Cup super-G amid heavy snowfall Sunday, while Lindsey Vonn struggled with the difficult conditions and lost her lead in the super-G standings to Tina Maze.

Rebensburg, the Olympic champion in giant slalom, clocked 1 minute, 16.45 seconds down the Olympia delle Tofane course. Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria finished second, 0.33 seconds behind, and overall leader Maze of Slovenia was third, 0.34 back.

"Everything fit together top to bottom," Rebensburg said. "I had a good feeling and my technique was good. Sometimes we have (bad weather) in training, so we are used to that. But it's a race and you really want to push and today I was really focused."

Vonn, who finished seventh, dropped four points behind Maze in the super-G standings after four of seven races.

Running away with the title, Maze increased her lead in the overall standings to a massive 718 points ahead of Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who finished 19th.

"Today was a hard battle skiing down," Maze said. "It was snowing a lot and the snow stayed on the goggles. I didn't see a lot in the last part, I was just trying to stay on line, so I'm really proud of my performance today.

"Skiing is so unpredictable and that's what makes it so interesting," Maze added. "It doesn't matter if you have 2,000 or 300 points, you need to be focused."

Vonn's American teammates Julia Mancuso and Leanne Smith finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Vonn had won the last four super-Gs here and also won Saturday's downhill for her first victory since returning to the circuit from a three-week break to recover from an intestinal illness.

But the four-time overall champion was never in contention during her run, and when she reached the finish she just shook her head and shrugged her shoulders.

"It was difficult to punch in there today," Vonn said in a TV interview. "The snow was definitely soft and I got sucked a little bit low on the top section and I was able to make up time on the bottom but it just wasn't enough.

"It was definitely tough conditions but at least we got a race," Vonn added. "We already had one super-G cancelled (this season) and I was worried we would have a second."

Mancuso, who skied immediately after Vonn, did slightly better and she is third in the super-G standings, 65 points behind Maze.

It was the second super-G win of Rebensburg's career, with her first coming at the World Cup finals last season in Schladming, Austria, the site of next month's world championships. It was her 10th World Cup victory overall, with the other eight coming in giant slalom.

"In super-G the technique is improving and my feeling is getting better and better," the 23-year-old Rebensburg said, adding that she eventually wants to challenge for the overall title.

Meanwhile, it was a career day for Schmidhofer, who is also 23 and whose previous best result was 12th in a super-G in Val d'Isere, France, three seasons ago. Schmidhofer wore the No. 3 bib and took advantage of better conditions for the earlier starters.

"I'm speechless," Schmidhofer said. "My goal was to go in the top 10 and now it's second place."

The snowfall, which began Saturday, forced organizers to lower the start by eight gates, slicing about 450 metres (yards) off the course. Still, the conditions resulted in nine racers not finishing.

The women's circuit resumes with a giant slalom and slalom in Maribor, Slovenia, next weekend.

Maze needs some rest before her home races.

"I'm not feeling 100 per cent," she said. "I'm getting a little bit tired. I need one day in bed to recover."

Vonn, meanwhile, hasn't trained much GS or slalom recently. She said that a top-10 result in Maribor "would be great."

Viktoria Rebensburg (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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