Paerson takes 10th World Cup victory of season
ARE, Sweden – World Cup leader Anja Paerson of Sweden tore out of the pack on the final run Sunday and jumped from 10th place to her 10th victory of the season in a World Cup giant slalom. Kristina Koznick of Eagan, Minn., finished 10th and Lindsey Kildow of Vail was 18th as she scored points in her fourth discipline this season.
Paerson used a pattern made familiar by hometown hero Ingemar Stenmark, who had an unapproachable 86 World Cup wins– the sizzling second run to victory – and laid down the fastest second run to overcome a .41 deficit and win by more than a half-second in 2 minutes, 15.64 seconds.
Maria Jose Rienda Contreras of Spain was second in 2:16.17. Koznick, seventh in the first run, struggled on the bottom of the second run and finished in 2:17.41 while Kildow, coming out of the No. 48 start, was 12th in the first run and had a total time of 2:17.62.
The Swede lengthened her lead over Austrian Renate Goetschl, who had closed to within 23 points by winning a super G Saturday – her 32nd World Cup win. For Paerson, whose first victory came in a slalom in December 1998 at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., it was victory No. 21.
Conditions were almost ideal with hard snow, which allowed nine skiers from outside the top 30 starters to break into the second run, including two who skied from the 60s into the top 25. The women head next to Levi, Finland, for two slaloms Saturday and Sunday, which will be the first World Cup races to be held in Finland. Paerson has won six slaloms this season.