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Oh Canada! Gagnon wins super combined in Austria

Courtesy of www.fisalpine.com

Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria (Sportsnetwork.com) - After finishing 16th in the super-G run this morning, 1.37 seconds behind Nicole Hosp's leading time, Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon logged the fastest time in the slalom run to earn her first ever career World Cup victory. Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser took second, 0.32 seconds off the pace while Germany's Maria Hofl-Riesch ended in third, 0.39 seconds back, for a second podium in two days. Winner of the two super combined races of last season, Tina Maze finished in sixth position.

Marie-Michele Gagnon has had the best season start of her young career so far and her first victory was not far away. Her personal best so far was a third position in Are slalom in March 2012.

"It's amazing and to be honest I was quite surprised", she admitted. "I knew I had to do a really good slalom since I was more than a second behind after the super-G run. So I entered the slalom without too much of expectation. I skied freely and that helped me give my best."

Twentieth at the end of the first run, Michaela Kirchgasser showcased her slalom talent to land her fourth career podium in super combined. "I knew it was possible after the super G run because I wasn't that far behind", she explained. "2014 began with a great result and that feels so good. I am now really looking forward to the night slalom in Flachau. Three races in a row on home snow is something really special and enjoyable."

With the 60 points won today, Maria Hofl-Riesch takes the lead in the overall standings back with a total of 731 points, 22 more than Anna Fenninger, who placed 8th today.

"To be on the podium twice in two days is really nice, I am definitely happy about it", said Hofl-Riesch."There is however a bit of disappointment since it was not perfect skiing from me in the downhill yesterday and the super g today. I missed the second place only by 0.07 seconds yesterday as well. That's a great overall performance that gives me a lot of confidence, going into the next race in Flachau."

The night slalom in Flachau is scheduled on Tuesday with the 1st run start at 17:45 and the 2nd at 20:45 CET.

01/12 16:24:18 ET