Germany's Maria Riesch took the Maribor slalom in Slovenia, finishing ahead of US rival Lindsey Vonn. The fourth consecutive win enabled Riesch to increase her lead in the overall World Cup standings over Finland's Tanja Poutiainen.
REUTERS - Germany's Maria Riesch destroyed her rivals to win a fourth successive slalom and strengthen her lead in the overall World Cup standings on Sunday.
The race in Maribor was almost over after the first leg when Riesch left her nearest rival, Austria's Kathrin Zettel, trailing by 1.29 seconds.
Riesch only had to play it safe in the afternoon run to secure a new victory, the 10th of her career and fourth in a row after wins in La Molina, Semmering and Zagreb.
She eventually beat Zettel by 1.15, while Finn Tanja Poutiainen, already third in the morning, kept her place on the podium 1.77 behind the German World Cup leader.
"To have such a big margin after the first leg is not always easy to handle. I was a little bit afraid but everything clicked into place as soon as I started. I just tried to ski clean," said Riesch.
Now ideally placed to win the slalom crystal globe, Riesch also leads the World Cup overall standings on 729 points, ahead of Poutiainen on 644 points.
Overall World Cup holder Lindsey Vonn limited the damage by finishing fourth, level with Swede Anja Paerson.
It was an uphill battle for the American, who was only 18th after the first run but made it close to the podium thanks to a fantastic afternoon leg.
Vonn will be back on familiar terrain next weekend in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee when the Austrian resort hosts a super-combined and her favourite event, a downhill.
"I'm looking forward to the speed events. It'll be intriguing to see how it goes having not skied a downhill for so long," said Riesch.
Two downhills have been called off since Dec. 5, when Vonn won in Lake Louise.
Date created : 2009-01-12