Petra Vlhova claims her confidence is restored after battling to slalom victory in tough conditions in the latest alpine skiing World Cup leg in Zagreb.
Warm, wet conditions made for a treacherous course in Croatia but Vlhova's first-run time of 58.27 seconds put her 0.32s ahead of Austria's Katharina Liensberger and despite a shaky second run, she held on for gold.
It was the Slovakian star's fourth World Cup victory of the season and came hot on the heels of a disappointing fourth-place finish in Semmering last time out.
Alpine Skiing
'I’m trying to decide' - Shiffrin to make Winter Olympics decision
30/03/2021 AT 10:29
Vlhova only posted the 11th- fastest time on the second run but it was enough to hold off Liensberger by 0.05s overall, with Switzerland's Michelle Gisin taking the final spot on the podium just ahead of USA's Mikaela Shiffrin.
"It was a really hard day for me," explained Vlhova. "I had to find my confidence again and the entire day was a fight, especially the second run.
"I thought I was out of the podium picture, but I kept fighting through the finish. When I saw I was only the 11th fastest in the second run, I thought I was for sure out of the podium, but then the green light showed up and I couldn't believe it."
Victory keeps Vlhova top of the slalom standing and she also leads the overall standings on 615 points after 11 races – 128 points ahead of Gisin in second, with Shiffrin lying third.
Sportsbeat 2021
Alpine Skiing
World Cup wrap: New era finally here after season where anything was possible
23/03/2021 AT 19:38
Lenzerheide
Feller powers to slalom success at Lenzerheide as Grange bows out
21/03/2021 AT 14:43