Hoefl-Riesch returns to podium with 3rd in Aspen Slalom
Maria Hoefl-Riesch is a seven time World Cup Slalom winner as well as being the defending Overall World Cup Champion. The relief on her face on making the podium in Aspen was there for all to see: "I'm really happy with my result today after two bad races in GS, I'll try to build on that going into the speed races in Lake Louise," said Hoefl-Riesch after the race. "It was really important to trust in myself which was not so easy after my fall in the GS yesterday."
The race was won in comprehensive style by Marlies Schild from Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner. Hoefl-Riesch took third after having been in fourth after the first run. Talking after the race she said: “"I was not sure about my slalom form, but to do well on such a difficult hill definitely boosts my confidence for the next speed races in Lake Louise."
Hoefl-Riesch had placed fourth after the first run and took the lead when she came through the finish after the second run. Her time was immediately bettered by the Swedish racer and when Tanja Poutiainen finished a tenth behind her combined time, she was assured of a confidence boosting podium placing. "With the changing light, I didn't manage to execute everything right but I'm very happy with this solid third place," Hoefl-Riesch told reporters.
With Lindsey Vonn electing to rest before the races in Lake Louise due to a sore back, Sarka Zahrobska was the next best HEAD racer in 13th spot just edging out Anne-Sophie Barthet and Anna Swenn-Larsson placed 15 and 16 as well as Wendy Holdener who finished 19th. Carmen Thalmann from Austria, in her first World Cup race took 23rd.
The World Cup Women’s tour now heads to Lake Louise for the opening women’s speed races. Lindsey Vonn and Maria Hoefl-Riesch’s competitiveness will be to the fore as both will want to pick up maximum points in the speed races.
1. Marlies Schild (AUT)
2. Maria Pietilae Holmner (SWE)
3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) HEAD
13. Sarka Zahrobska (CZE) HEAD
15. Anne-Sophie Barthet (FRA) HEAD
16. Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE) HEAD
23. Carmen Thalmann (AUT) HEAD