Maze wins combined for second gold | VailDaily.com

Maze wins combined for second gold

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Slovenia's Tina Maze celebrates winning the women’s alpine slalom competition at the alpine skiing world championships, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
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BEAVER CREEK — Slovenian Tina Maze established her grip on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek on Monday by winning the women’s combined for her second gold medal of the races.

Maze edged what seemed like the entire Austrian Ski Team and Switzerland’s Lara Gut in the process. The Slovenian won with an aggregate time of 2 minutes, 33.37 seconds, 22-hundredths of second ahead of Austrian Nicole Hosp, and 0.35 seconds ahead of Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser. Austrian Anna Fenninger was fourth with the red, white and red’s Kathrin Zettel sixth. Gut was fifth in the middle of the Austrian parade.

Maze entered the Championships as the women’s World Cup leader and has nothing to dispel that notion. She is 3-for-3 in medals at these Worlds with silver in super-G and golds in downhill and combined. Maze can now probably entertain notions of trying to match Norway’s Lasse Kjus’ record of five medals in five individual races at Worlds, set here in 1999. The women’s giant slalom is Thursday and the slalom on Saturday.

Maze’s medal total now equals that of nations like Switzerland and the United States and exceeded only by Austria with six.

Maze led Gut by 2-hundredths of a second after the downhill with Fenninger (0.26 seconds) and Hosp (0.90) in tow.

The slalom course at Beaver Creek held up much better than it did during Monday’s men’s combined, allowing skilled racers to charge after the flip. Zettel, the 2009 Worlds combined champ, was the first to put down her marker, running 16th and surging into the lead. Then came the rest of the Alpine Republic, aka Austria, including Fenninger, the 2011 Worlds champ in the discipline,

Maze, however, showed why she is the best women’s racer in the world, cutting her way down the course.

American Lindsey Vonn had a rough day. She said she hit a rock during the downhill, in which she finished seventh, and was a DNF in the slalom. The latter is completely understandable given that she hasn’t trained slalom since her right-knee injury at the 2013 Worlds in Schladming, Austria.

Laurenne Ross was the top American in 14th, followed by Julia Mancuso in 15th and Jacqueline Wiles in 17th.

Worlds takes a break from Beaver Creek for the next two days. The Nations Team Event on Tuesday is at Vail’s Golden Peak at 2:15 p.m.

This story will be updated.