Maria Hoefl-Riesch rounded off the 2013 year with third place in the Slalom in Lienz. The HEAD World Cup Rebel was in fourth place after the first run just over half a second off the lead. Marlies Schild won the race after a dazzling second run with Mikaela Shiffrin in second.
A strong top section through the mist that came down between the runs saw her hold the lead as she approached the final pitch into the finish. A few tentative moments on the pitch had the heart in the mouth but Hoefl-Riesch had done enough to go into second. With first Kathrin Zettel and then Marie Pietilae-Holmner crashing out on the second run, Hoefl-Riesch was guaranteed her first podium in Lienz but the time first run leader Mikaela Shiffrin left the start.
The second run was all about the HEAD racers as they stormed up the leader board. From a start number of 52, Anne-Sophie Barthet had jumped into 22nd place after the first run. Barthet used all her experience to post a super fast second run time that held the lead for a long time. Barthet’s time would eventually be good enough for the second fastest time on the second run to lift her up in to tenth spot and her fourth best career World Cup slalom result.
After the super hard piste from the previous day, fresh snow at the top and rain at the bottom of the course made it difficult for the racers.
With the Zagreb slalom being moved to Bormio, Hoefl-Riesch believes that with many of her rivals for the Overall not doing Slalom, the discipline has become important in the race for the Overall. “While the season has had some ups and downs, I am happy with my performance and if I can improve my consistency I will be totally happy,” Hoefl-Riesch explained.
Third place in the Slalom in Lienz means that Hoefl-Riesch has taken over the lead in the race for Overall Globe by two points from Tina Weirather. This is something that makes her proud but she recognises that it is a long season: “I am satisfied with the lead,” she agreed after the race.
1. Marlies Schild (AUT)
2. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) HEAD
9. Wendy Holdener (SUI) HEAD
10. Anne-Sophie Barthet (FRA) HEAD
13. Magdelena Fjaellstroem (SWE) HEAD
21. Denise Faierabend (SUI) HEAD