Alexa

Schild leads World Cup Slalom, Vonn out

Schild leads World Cup Slalom, Vonn out

Marlies Schild of Austria led by more than a second after the first run of a women's World Cup slalom Wednesday, while Lindsey Vonn chrashed out.
The American defending overall champion lost balance in a sharp right turn early in her run and slid off course, hit a course worker and landed in the safety boarding. Vonn appeared unhurt, getting up immediately and skied down to the finish area.
Vonn's main rival Maria Riesch is now assured of going into 2011 as the No. 1 in the overall standings. The German leads Vonn by 41 points.
Riesch almost skied out at the penultimate gate and finished 2.40 seconds behind Schild.
"With Lindsey out, it would be good to score some extra points and build on my lead," said Riesch, who almost fell backward after catching a bump and just managed to move the right way of the final gate. "I knew from the course inspection that it could get dangerous there."
Schild had a blistering first run to finish the Panorama course in front of a 14,000-capacity home crowd in 48.78 seconds. Second-place Nastasia Noens of France was already 1.20 seconds behind, while Tanja Poutiainen of Finland was another 0.07 back in third.
"I was going almost too fast at the bottom part and had to hold back a bit," said Schild, who won two of three previous slalom races this season. "I was a bit anxious before the race because everybody expects me to win."
Former overall champion Nicole Hosp went out after straddling a gate in the steep middle part of the course.
Sarah Schleper, who started 32nd, had a strong run to finish ninth with a 1.95-second deficit, but fellow American Julia Mancuso failed to qualify for the second leg.