ASPEN, Colo. — Viktoria Rebensburg darted in between the shadows, daring to charge on a demanding course with little margin for error.
That go-for-broke mentality helped the German make up nearly a second on the final run to hold off Elisabeth Goergl, of Austria, to win a World Cup giant slalom on Saturday. It was Rebensburg’s fourth World Cup win in her career – all in this discipline.
Julia Mancuso finished third to become the first American to wind up on the podium at this venue since 2004.
Rebensburg blazed through the course in a combined time of 2 minutes, 11.25 seconds, edging Goergl, the leader after the first run, by 0.33 seconds.
“My heart was beating pretty (hard) when Liz came to the last pitch down there,” Rebensburg said. “I didn’t know if it was enough for me. I knew I had to push the limit. I really pushed.”
Her teammate, reigning overall World Cup champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch, caught an edge on her final run, skidded off course and didn’t finish.
Lindsey Vonn, who was well back in 21st place after the first run, zoomed down the twisting and bumpy course to wind up 12th, 1.74 seconds behind Rebensburg.
Vonn’s skiing has been limited after tweaking her back in training last week. She has been relying on massages and heating pads to keep her back loose.
MEN’S DOWNHILL: In Lake Louise, Alberta, Didier Cuche won the downhill season-opener Saturday, giving Switzerland a 1-2 finish in a World Cup race at Lake Louise.
The 37-year-old skier was timed in 1 minute, 47.28, matching his downhill victory at Lake Louise from two years ago.
Beat Fuez was second in 1:47.34 and Hannes Reichelt of Austria was third in 1:47.36. A super-G is scheduled for today.