Resi Stiegler finishes 15th in slalom
A taste of home is just what Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) needed during a lonely ride on the World Cup Circuit, finishing 15th in her father’s hometown of Lienz.
"It’s awesome to be racing in Lienz," said Stiegler, who was the lone American competing in Tuesday’s Audi FIS World Cup slalom. "It’s like a second hometown for me. I was brought over here at a really young age and I’ve been racing this race for like 15 years now. I know it well. I love it. I have so much fun here."
Since Mikaela Shiffrin’s (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) injury in mid-December, the women’s World Cup slalom podium has been a free-for-all, making way for new talent to claim the top step. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter has been consistently on the podium in three previous races this season, but Tuesday marked her first appearance to the top step. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was second, followed by Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in third.
Hansdotter’s victory makes her the first woman since Shiffrin to have a streak of at least five podium finishes.
Without Shiffrin and teammate Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, Minnesota), Stiegler is the only slalom skier on the U.S. squad. But, she’s using her time wisely to focus on her goals.
"It’s sad [to be training alone]. We miss Mikaela and Paula went back for some training," Stiegler said. "It’s good to be working on myself and have that focus. It’s a little nerve-wracking though, because you’re holding the team up.
"I have a lot of people pushing for me and I have a lot of things I want to get done this season," she continued. "I’m just taking this as an advantage to focus on every little thing and get ahead right now."
Stiegler returned to the World Cup circuit this season after yet another injury — and is slowly making her way back to form.
"Last night I was in the bib draw, which was my first bib draw in eight years," she said. "That was a huge accomplishment for me. But I need to be getting in the top 10s to be getting what I want. The podium is my goal, but I’m happy with the top 10."
Up next, the women compete in slalom at Santa Caterina, Italy, on Jan. 5.
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