Alpine update: Maze sweeping, USA rotating

Today’s Alpine skiing news goes beyond what I can sum up on Twitter:

First, let’s talk about Tina Maze. Last season, she finished second to the dominant Lindsey Vonn, but she didn’t win a single race.

This year, she has won nine races. She has been on the podium 20 times, tying U.S. great Phil Mahre for second-most in a season behind Austria’s Hermann (Herminator) Maier, who had 22 in the 1999-2000 season.

In that season, Maier had 2,000 points. Maze broke that record today and is up to 2,024 points.

Here’s the scary part: The season isn’t over. We have seven more races.

The other headline for Maze today is that she became just the second woman to win a race in all five disciplines — downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined. She could actually win the season title in all five (though, technically, no globe is at stake in combined).

  • Giant slalom: Clinched it with two races left.
  • Combined: Clinched it. No races left.
  • Super-G: Almost clinched it. She’s first, with American Julia Mancuso chasing. Two races left: Sunday and in the World Cup final.
  • Downhill: She’s in second. But she’s only one point behind Vonn, who isn’t coming back in the next month. Others are in contention: Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch and the USA’s Stacey Cook. One race left at the World Cup final.
  • Slalom: This one is the most challenging. She’s second, 33 points behind American teen phenom Mikaela Shiffrin. Two races left.

A lot of Americans are popping up in the standings, even after Vonn’s illness and catastrophic injury. Mancuso is a strong fourth overall, moving ahead of Vonn this weekend.

Today’s racing summed up the U.S. experience this season. Laurenne Ross finished second for her first World Cup podium. And Alice McKennis crashed, breaking her shinbone and requiring an airlift.

Maze vs. the Americans will be a fun story to follow in Sochi. Now, please, everyone stay healthy.

Links:
AP: Tina Maze breaks 2,000-point mark
Eurosport: Maze wins Garmisch downhill and breaks 2,000 points
World Cup standings

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