Stiegler fourth in World Cup slalom
REITERALM, Austria ” Marlies Schild won the World Cup slalom on Saturday despite losing time after losing control of her ski on her second run.
Schild, the defending World Cup champion, edged Nicole Hosp by 0.06 in difficult conditions because of heavy snowfall on the Gasselhoehe course. She finished in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 55.53 seconds.
“I raced to the limits in my second run,” Schild said, who was third after the first run. “I made a horrendous error as I lost control over my ski. That cost a lot of speed, so it’s kind of a miracle that I still won.”
Chiara Costazza, who led after the first run, was 0.30 behind Schild to place third for her first World Cup podium finish.
“If Marlies had not made that error, she would have beaten me by more than a second,” Hosp said.
American Resi Stiegler finished fourth in 1:55.94, tying her best career World Cup finish, while slalom world champion Sarka Zahrobska was seventh, 0.65 behind Schild. Anja Paerson trailed by 1.51 to finish 12th.
“I’ve never seen so much snow,” Stiegler said.
Lauren Ross, the only other U.S. racer, skied out in poor visibility at the bottom of her first run.
“Finishing 11-hundredths off the podium and just 0.4 away from the win in these conditions shows how well Resi’s skiing,” said Chris Knight, the U.S. Ski Team’s women’s slalom and giant slalom coach. “She’s got great balance now and she’s skiing with good confidence, so she didn’t get rattled in these conditions.
“A gust of wind kicked up snow in her face just as she approached the entry of the first hairpin, so she lost a lot of time at the top. But then Resi took off and powered her way down to the finish,” Knight said.
Stiegler conceded nasty conditions normally would have given her trouble, but the storm played to her strength this time. The race, moved because of poor snow in Levi, Finland, was threatened because of the storm, which dumped two meters or more on the course. However, Stiegler said she was liberated because it meant she could free-ski through deep powder, a treat she hasn’t enjoyed on the World Cup tour for perhaps two years.
“We had meters and meters and meters of snow. I’ve never seen so much snow,” Stiegler said.
The next World Cup races for the women are slalom and giant slalom Nov. 24-25 in Panorama, British Columbia, with a downhill and super-G Dec. 1-2 in Lake Louise, Alberta.
The U.S. Ski Team contributed to this report