Riesch dominates in Maribor

January 11th, 2009

Germany’s Maria Riesch improved her own record of consecutive slalom wins today in Maribor catching her fourth race in a row after another impressive demonstration of her skill and her determination. Riesch, in adding to wins at La Molina, Semmering and Zagreb on her current hot streak, recorded her 10th career victory since 2004.

The 24-year-old Bavarian crushed once more the rest of the field in that ‘Classic’ women competition beating by 1,15 seconds Austria’s Kathrin Zettel and by 1,77 another slalom expert, Tanja Poutiainen from Finland.

A big lead after first run for Riesch

After establishing a huge 1.5-second lead in the opening run the HEAD skier from Garmisch-Partenkirchen was able to relax a little in the afternoon and grab her fifth career slalom win with another clean and solid run. She is not the first skier to have achieved such a performance in past season – yet the first German since the best days of Christa Zechmeister, one of the best slalom skiers on the women’s circuit in the 1970s.

“I could never have imagined posting four wins on the trot, it’s getting quite amazing,” said a beaming Riesch after that success which took her further clear at the head of the Overall World Cup standings as well as the slalom rankings.“ I am bursting with confidence and it makes everything so much easier, especially on a difficult course as this one. The snow was pretty icy and I could put much pressure on my skis.”

“I had that big lead after the first run - though I was a bit nervous at the start. A big lead makes you feel safe, but in slalom you can easily go out and I was a bit scared for that. But I found a good middle way between attacking the course and a secure approach,” she added. “Of course when you keep winning, it raises expectations as people start to say “she's going to be world champion” - but each time it's a new race.”

“Anyway, I'm not going to change my preparation for the World Championships - I'm working on all disciplines. I don't look at the standings now,” Riesch also said. “Crystal globes will only be given at the end of the season. I’m looking forward now for the coming speed events in Austria. Lindsey is better at the downhill. I think it's her turn now and Tanja doesn't compete in those races. It may well be pretty hard for me to keep in touch with Lindsey but we are both having fun and this is the most important.”