Liechtenstein’s next generation of racers achieved something that the parents of Tina Weirather failed to do during their Golden generation: Win in Garmisch Partenkirchen. Tina Weirather is the daughter of Hanni Wenzel (Liechtenstein) and Harti Weirather (Austria), and with this win, she emulated both of their career achievements. Weirather was an early starter and made the most of the conditions to post a faster time than Tina Maze and Julia Mancuso who were joint second ahead of Anna Fenninger.

Weirather rode her luck and used her undoubted skill to post a consistently fast time down the Streicher piste. After over a metre and a half of new snow that had fallen on top of hard packed and injected snow during the week, this had been slipped off to give what many of the racers felt were ideal conditions. Weirather from bib 3 produced the best last section to really set the pace for the so called better racers to challenge.

It took until the top group of racers started, those starting between bibs 16 and 22, until Weirather’s time was challenged. Anna Fenninger was the first to give a challenge yet by her own admission made a mistake approaching the finish and this cost her a place on the podium she felt. Fenninger had been disappointed with her World Championship performance in the Super G (she missed a gate when on a good run in the Super G), yet decided to use the same skis for the race in Garmisch, these were a new construction and while she would go on to finish fourth, she was happy that she had a first finish with the skis. The old adage ‘could have done better,’ comes to mind.

Next down was Tina Maze and with the Overall Globe and Giant Slalom Globe already in the bag and Lindsey Vonn injured, the Super G Globe is close to joining her collection for the season. Maze has been the stand out skier since the first race of the season in Soelden. With three races (including this race) to go, Maze needed to be ahead of Mancuso to secure the Globe.

Maze was faster than Weirather almost all the way down but lost out on the run in to the diminutive Liechtenstein racer. Twelve hundredths was the difference but this was the difference between first and second at that moment.

With Rebensburg, Suter and Gut all struggling and then came Hoefl-Riesch. The home town girl has raced this slope many times in her career yet came into the race with the after effects of illness haunting her. A mistake two thirds down the course put paid to her hopes of a win and she drifted off the pace.

Next up was Julia Mancuso and the American was coming into the race as the defending Champion. Like Hoefl-Riesch, she made a mistake in the middle section and was bounced around. Unlike Hoefl-Riesch she was able to recover and put in the second fastest split to the bottom to tie with Maze in second.

There can be nothing better than winning your first World Cup race and having your mother and father in the crowd. To have your mother doing the flower ceremony as well just makes things all the more memorable. Remember the name Tina Weirather: you will be hearing a lot more of this girl!

 

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