French skier Sandrine Aubert had her first World Cup title with a victory at the Ofterschwang (Germany) slalom. A fall during the race prevented Lindsay Vonn from grabbing the overall missed the chance to grab the overall World Cup crystal globe.
REUTERS - American Lindsey Vonn crashed as she was going for her second World Cup title in a slalom on Saturday won by France's Sandrine Aubert.
Vonn, who had clocked the fastest time in the morning leg, only needed to finish in front of Germany's Maria Riesch to retain her overall World Cup crystal globe.
But the American, winner of seven World Cup races and two world titles this season, slid out of contention close to the finish line and must wait for the next race to be crowned.
Aubert gave the French their first victory in a World Cup slalom for seven years in a nail-biting race.
The 26-year-old, who had never made it on to a World Cup podium before, took advantage of Vonn's and Austrian Kathrin Zettel's misfortunes to bag her maiden victory in a combined time of one minute and 46.28 seconds.
As favourites crashed out, second place went to another unfancied skier, Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, who also earned her first podium placing 0.43 behind Aubert.
Austria's Nicole Hosp, who missed part of the season with a knee injury, shot back to form to take third place, 0.82 seconds behind.
Riesch, Vonn's only rival for the overall title, is 369 points behind her American friend with only the four races of the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden, left before the end of the season.
The German slalom world champion would have to win all four races next week to leapfrog Vonn and only if the American failed to score more than 31 points.
That leaves the 24-year-old downhill and super-G world champion, who has already won the downhill World Cup, almost certain to take the "big globe" in Are.
Aubert's victory was the first in a slalom by a Frenchwoman since Laure Pequegnot in 2002 in Are.
Date created : 2009-03-07