|ZAGREB, Croatia (Feb. 15) - Defending World Cup overall champion Nicole Hosp of Austria failed to finish her final slalom run Friday night, leaving her tied with American Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) atop the World Cup standings. As the tour heads to the 2010 Olympic venue north of Vancouver, each has 983 points - more than 100 points ahead of their nearest rival - with 11 races remaining.|
No Americans competed in the slalom won by Finn Tanja Poutiainen, who had the fastest second run and an overall time of 1:52.83. First-run leader Marlies Schild of Austria was runner-up in 1:53.35 with Slovakia's Veronika Zuzulova third (1:53.51).
U.S. Ski Team coaches and athletes had made the decision to skip the single slalom in Zagreb to get a break at home. Vonn had left last weekend's races in Sestriere, Italy tied with Hosp for the lead and was content to give up a potential 100 points to Hosp for a break at home resting and "doing lots of laundry."
Schild led the first run with Hosp second, looking to open a lead over Vonn in the overall. However, Hosp skied off course on the upper part of the run. She and Vonn remain deadlocked for first place in the standings; German Marie Riesch is third (881) with Schild fourth (847).
The next women's races come in a week at Whistler, B.C., with a downhill Feb. 22 and a super combined Feb. 24. Vonn leads the downhill standings and needs a fourth or better in any of the three remaining DHs to clinch that title. She also won the lone super combined, which normally blends a downhill and one run of slalom - but at Whistler, the women will race a super G and one run of slalom.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) will lead the U.S. Ski Team in Sunday's men's slalom in Zagreb.
2008 AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Snow Queen Trophy
Zagreb, CRO - Feb. 15, 2008
1. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:52.83
2. Marlies Schild, Austria, 1:53.35
3. Veronika Zuzulova, Slovakia, 1:53.51
4. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 1:53.72
5. Nina Loeseth, Norway, 1:54.17
(No Americans competed)
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