Tina Maze won the season-opening giant slalom race in Soelden, Austria, as defending World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn crashed. Maze, of Slovenia, had a combined time over two runs of 2 minutes, 31.41 seconds amid foggy conditions on the 3,000-meter (9,800 feet) high Rettenbach glacier. It was her third career win in Soelden.
“My body was all around the course and even though in the first run I had such an amazing feeling, the second one was just fight,” Maze, who led France’s Tessa Worley by 0.74 seconds after the first run, said on the World Cup website. “I am glad I fought that hard.”
Austria’s Kathrin Zettel was 0.42 seconds behind in second place, while her teammate Stefanie Koehle finished third.
Vonn, who won her first giant slalom last year in Soelden, was in twelfth place after the first run.
The 28-year-old American, who took her fourth overall World Cup title last season after 12 victories, then caught the gate with her left hand early on in the second run and crashed.
“That was definitely not the game plan,” Vonn said on the U.S. Ski Team website. “Second run I was trying as hard as I could to make up 2.5 seconds, which is tough to do, and I got my arm caught on a gate.”
Defending giant slalom champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany didn’t finish after falling on her second run. Vonn’s teammate Julia Mancuso, a former Olympic giant slalom champion, also failed to finish after her ski came off early in her first run.
The second leg of today’s race was delayed an hour due to fog. The men’s event takes place tomorrow.