First season win for Maria Riesch

December 14th, 2008

The 24-year-old skier from Garmisch-Partenkirchen beat by amazing 1,48 seconds her good friend Lindsey Vonn while Austria’s Kathrin Zettel fought back from her crash in Saturday’s giant slalom to finish 3rd - at 2,36 seconds.

Sarka Zahrobska from Czech Republic, the winner two weeks ago of the previous slalom in Aspen, Colorado, was 4th - at 2,55 seconds ! She finished ahead of Anja Paerson.

Maria let it go

“I really could let it go, the skis glided perfectly on the fresh snow covering the runs and I had a lot of fun powering myself from gate to gate,” said the Bavarian after being warmly hugged by her friend Lindsey at the arrival.

“It’s pretty exciting to win again a slalom – it has been a long time since my victory in March 2004,” added the tall and elegant German who had reached ten World Cup podiums in the last twelve months, including her two wins in Super-G and Super-combined at Cortina d’Ampezzo and Whistler Mountain. “My 3rd place at Levi last month was a strong boost for my confidence and I could attack the course the way I wanted today. I’m really amazed by my huge victory margin, it’s crazy,” the defending Super-G and Super-combined World Cup champion told the press.

“I’m happy to be again on the podium next to Lindsey, but this time on the top,” also commented the very thrilled Riesch, twice beaten by her American friend in Levi and Lake Louise. “She is really amazing – this season promises to be quite a battle between us which should be fun too.”

Next weekend, Maria is aiming for her first downhill win this season in St Moritz where she suffered a spectacular crash there last February. So far, she won two downhill races in her career, the first one in 2004 at Haus im Ennstal and the last one in Lake Louise two years ago.