MERIBEL, France — There was only one fitting way for Tina Maze to wrap up the overall World Cup title — with another victory, and with plenty of time to spare.
She clinched her first crystal globe Sunday by winning a super-combined for her eighth victory of the season. So overpowering was her season that she clinched the overall trophy with nine races to go.
“It’s really special because it’s so difficult to win. For me, it’s special to continue this level of skiing," said Maze, who celebrated with a cartwheel. “To be on the top is amazing. It’s a great season for me. Even if there have been ups and downs I have always come back."
Maze led the downhill and coasted home in the slalom after Maria Hoefl-Riesch crashed out of contention. She tied a season record with her 18th top-three finish, matching the podium mark set by Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden and Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein.
“I’m an emotional person, I didn’t want to cry (on the podium)," Maze said, adding she felt sick before the slalom. “I went to the toilet six times before I started. A lot of people (were) sick and I guess I get something from them, too."
Maze has 1,844 points in the overall standings and looks all but certain to break the season record —men or women — of 2,000 held by Austrian great Hermann Maier.
Hoefl-Riesch is second in the overall standings but is 958 points behind and has no chance of closing the gap. Each victory is worth 100 points.
Lindsey Vonn, the four-time overall winner and defending champion, fell out of contention after she took a monthlong break because of an intestinal illness and then was done for the season after a knee injury at the world championships. Vonn is still third overall with 740 points.
“I’m really tired now, especially after a long day like today," said the 29-year-old Maze, who won in 1 minute, 59.54 seconds. “Today was so tough, I didn’t know where I was. I almost went off the course twice. But I just managed to catch the gates. It’s crazy."
Nicole Hosp of Austria, the world championship bronze medalist in the super-combi, finished second. Countrywoman Michaela Kirchgasser took third place with a superb slalom run. Laurenne Ross, of Bend, was 15th in 2:02.86.
Also on Sunday:
France’s Pinturault wins
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Alexis Pinturault of France used a daring second run to win a World Cup giant slalom as his closest German challengers faltered. Pinturault was second after the first heat, behind hometown favorite Felix Neureuther and ahead of Fritz Dopfer. But Dopfer crashed out in the second run and Neureuther made a mistake that dropped him down to 12th in the ranking. World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria and world champion Ted Ligety of the United States profited from the Germans’ mistakes to take second and third, respectively.