Austria’s Anna Fenninger won the women’s World Cup giant slalom in Semmering on Friday going fastest on both legs of the race.
She was quickest on the first leg, 00.56 seconds ahead of Tessa Worley of France and 00.90secs clear of overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia.
With gusting winds and poor visibility making the going tough for all the skiers, Maze, who had won four of the five giant slaloms completed so far this season, took the lead with a fine second run.
Worley failed to match her and it was left up to 23-year-old Fenninger, who promptly produced the best time of the second run to win by 1.13 secs.
It was only the second World Cup win of Fenninger’s career coming a year after she broke though to win, also on home territory, at Lienz. She came second in a giant slalom in Are, Sweden before the Christmas break.
“I felt good out there today and I was 100 per cent sure of my skiing, ” she said,
“That’s what you need to have to win such a race.
“On the upper part of the piste I got it right by just letting my skies do the work. The lead I had after the first run was very important.”
The consolation for Maze was that the points she pocketed for second place meant that she moved further ahead atop the overall World Cup standings with nearest rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany a huge 417 points adrift.
The Slovenian paid tribute to Fenninger saying that she had been “unbeatable” on the day.
“It’s great to be able to ski like that, but it was a good day for me as well,” she added.
In 15 races this season, Maze has 10 times finished on the podium and she will start favourite again in Saturday’s slalom at Semmering.