Alpine ski racing: Tina Maze wins again and Lindsey Vonn makes impressive comeback

A round-up of this week;s action on the slopes

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The Independent Online

Tina Maze has won the Giant Slalom in Are, Sweden. The Overall World Cup champion of 2012-2013 was able to secure her third win this season ahead of Swede Sara Hector and Austrian Eva-Maria Brem.

Maze has shown very good form this season so far and extended her lead in the table.

This weekend’s races were originally scheduled in the Alps, in Val d’Isere and Courchevel, but due to a lack of snow and high temperatures it was decided to host the races in the Swedish resort.

Are has been hosting World Cups since 1969 and will be a stage again later in the season. The popular ski resort among Swedes will also be the stage of the 2019 World Championships.

Maze has won a slalom (Levi) and a Downhill (Lake Louise) already and secured her fourth podium place this season. It was the 14th World Cup victory in her career for the Slovenian.

Lindsey Vonn (above) impressively won her first race back on the skis when she clocked the quickest time in last week’s Downhill in Lake Louise. The American made her long awaited comeback after the knee injury she picked up at the World Championships in Schladming two years ago.

She wrote on a blog for The Red Bulletin this week: "“At this time last year at Lake Louise I was in a completely different position. I had a blown-out knee, and was trying to race, hoping I could still go to the Olympics. I was pushing myself beyond my physical limits and felt my confidence deteriorating. I wasn’t focusing on my skiing; I was focusing on my knee and worrying if and when it would give out.

"It was wobbly and unstable, but I couldn’t admit to anyone, even myself, how serious it was because I wanted to get to Sochi so badly."

It was in the following race in Val d’Isere Vonn decided to withdraw from the World Cup season.

In the men’s, Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud has taken a lead ahead of Austrian Marcel Hirscher and Hannes Reichelt. Jansrud, who was one of Downhill specialist Aksel Lund-Svindal’s biggest challengers last year, already appears to be taking advantage of his fellow countryman’s absence. Svindal suffered from an Achilles injury which he tore before the start of the season and is not expected to make an appearance this year.

With a Giant Slalom race this afternoon and the Slalom race coming up this Sunday, the leaderboard will be shuffled around. Marcel Hirscher has clocked the fastest time in the first run ahead of German Fritz Dopfer and Ted Ligety. GS specialist Ted Ligety will be keen to secure a win later this afternoon and youngster Alexis Pinturault, 23, has proven he is not shy of stealing a spot on the podium.

Upcoming races

Saturday 13 December

Slalom – Ladies – Are, Sweden

First run 8.30am, Second Run 11.30am

Sunday 14 December

Slalom – Men – Are, Sweden

First Run 9:30AM GMT Second Run 12:30PM GMT

Friday 19 December

Super G – Men – Val Garden, Italy

11.15am

Saturday 20 December

Downhill – Men – Val Gardena, Italy

11.15am

Downhill – Ladies – Val D’Isere, France (Provisional)

9.30am

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