Sölden’s steep slopes provide the first real test of the new Skiing World Cup season. With perfect weather conditions, it was a Völkl skier who sent the clearest signal last Saturday that she will be a force to be reckoned with this winter: Tanja Poutiainen.
This Finnish skier, who was already able to win the crystal globe for the best giant slalom skier last season, had no difficulty in continuing her outstanding form from 2008/9. Even so, things went far from perfectly during the first run of the giant slalom at Sölden, as this friendly Finn was already 0.62 seconds behind after the first run, putting her “only” in third place.
Her second run, however, was outstanding, and was sufficient to put her in front of all competitors by 0.01 seconds – her first win on a course which she has called one of her favorites. With the ninth World Cup victory of her carrier, Poutiainen has confirmed her leadership role and shown that she has big plans for this season: “I was able to prepare in Europe and am in great form. My Völkl Racetiger skis were also extremely fast – as always, a perfect setup! Now I hope to win even more races – after all, I still have not won a gold medal at the biggest competitions,” said Poutiainen with an eye towards the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver (CAN).