Maria Pietilae-Holmner Wins Her First World Cup In Aspen

Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner outclassed the rest of the field to succeed her first World Cup race in the Aspen slalom.

The 24-year-old was fastest in both runs to clock a mutual time of one minute and 46.19 seconds.

Appropriately wearing a gold helmet and matching goggles, the very small Swede was nearly perfect in Sunday's World Cup slalom on Aspen Mountain. Pietilae-Holmner laid down a scorching first run on Lower Ruthie's Run, building a lead of 0.64 seconds over her nearest competitor. She closed out Winternational in style during an overcast afternoon, negotiating the 61-gate course with poise and accuracy to post a combined time of 1 minute, 46.19 seconds.

The attempt was good enough to propel her past Germany's Maria Riesch, who was 0.68 seconds off the pace. Finland's Tanja Poutiainen settled for third place and her eighth podium finish here.

The win is Pietilae-Holmner's first in 104 World Cup starts. She is the third skier in as many years to pick up her first triumph in Aspen, joining France's Tessa Worley and Germany's Kathrin Hoelzl.
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