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Maze wins WCup super-G, has now won in all five disciplines

Associated Press

1/13/2013 9:27:54 AM

ST. ANTON, Austria -- Tina Maze of Slovenia reached another milestone in her stellar season on Sunday by winning her first super-G and becoming the sixth female skier to win a World Cup race in all five Alpine disciplines.

In perfect, sunny conditions, Maze attacked the Karl Schranz course in impressive style to time 1 minute, 16.55 seconds and edge second-place Anna Fenninger of Austria by 0.04.

It was the sixth victory of the season and 17th overall for Maze, who was on a super-G podium eighth times before without winning one.

Fabienne Suter of Switzerland trailed Maze by 0.99 and beat defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn by 0.01 for third place.

"It's incredible, I don't have words for this," Maze said. "I believed I could do it this season because I am skiing very well. Anna also raced great. It was very tight and I was lucky, but I am very happy to be part of this special club of winners."

Vonn as well as Austria's Petra Kronberger, Sweden's Pernilla Wiberg, Croatia's Janica Kostelic and Sweden's Anja Paerson previously achieved the discipline sweep. Five male skiers have also completed the feat.

Maze finished runner-up to Vonn last season but failed to win a single race. Sunday's victory saw her lead in the overall standings rise to a massive 545 points over Maria Hoefl-Riesch. The German came fifth, 1.09 behind Maze.

"This advantage is great," Maze said. "My season is just incredible, I am racing so well."

Vonn is 785 points behind the Slovenian in fifth. The American, who returned to racing this weekend after an almost four-week break to recover from intestinal illness, has put the defence of her title out of her head.

"(Maze) had the overall title a few weeks ago already," said Vonn, who has won the biggest crystal globe four times. "When I decided to take a break I knew that I would most likely lose the overall title. You can't win every year. Unfortunately I was dealing with this stomach problem this year."

Vonn won both previous super-G races this season and remained in the lead of the discipline standings with 250 points, followed by Maze with 230 and Vonn's American teammate Julia Manusco, who finished sixth, with 180.

Vonn was the 16th skier on the course and briefly led the race but her time was immediately beaten by Fenninger.

"I thought it was a pretty good race," Vonn said. "I definitely could have skied better. The bottom was just a little bit too conservative on a couple of gates. You could have arched the whole thing pretty cleanly."

Apart from being weakened by her illness, Vonn said her performances in the technical races have not been good enough to compete for a fifth overall championship.

"In general my speed skiing is still good, I faltered a little bit in my GS and slalom," Vonn said. "But (Maze) has definitely proven that she's been the best overall skier this year, getting top-threes in pretty much every single event ... If you win the overall title, no matter what the circumstances are, you definitely deserve it. She worked hard for it and I am happy for her."

Vonn, who finished sixth in Saturday's downhill, was satisfied with her two races after the break. The American said she was back to full strength but needed some time to settle again.

"I was feeling like I was a 100 per cent going into these races," she said. "I just wasn't quite there as far as my nerves... I was just a little bit too nervous. I was just so excited to be back, I wanted to do well. But I wasn't quite up to racing to the edge. I've been off skis for a while. A lot of times I need a lot of training to really get my confidence back. Now I am feeling that I am in a good place."

Vonn called her performance "solid," but regretted missing her first podium since winning a super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 8.

"I think it was a good weekend to build up," she said. "Definitely I would have liked to be on the podium today, the one-hundredth hurts a little bit. It was solid, solid results, and I have a lot more confidence now. It's nice to get these two races under my belt."

The women's World Cup stays in Austria for a night slalom in Flachau on Tuesday, before heading to Italy for another downhill and super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo next weekend.

Vonn said she probably won't compete in the slalom but was looking forward to the speed events.

"Next weekend in Cortina, on a course that I am comfortable on, should be a little bit easier," she said. "I am excited for it."