I'm in best shape of career, says Slovenian Maze

Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:14am EST
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By Patrick Lang

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Reuters) - Tina Maze has been unable to recapture the form she showed in her record-breaking Alpine skiing season a year ago but still believes she is in the form of her life approaching the Sochi Olympics.

"I know I'm in the best shape of my career even if I'm not showing it," said the Super-G world champion who has yet to win a World Cup race this season.

"I feel really strong. I feel perfect," she told reporters in Cortina d'Ampezzo where she clocked the second fastest time in training before Saturday's downhill race was called off.

The 2013 World Cup winner with a record total of 2,414 points, Maze has had to be content with three podium places this season.

"It's always difficult after that kind of season. I had trouble to keep pushing and going. When you're not doing that, your skiing is not as effective as it should be," she said.

"I need to have peace to show my best. I know that when you do a season like that it's normal that people want to be around you but you can't change your personality.

"It cost me some energy. We're working on it and it's coming. We're going in the right direction. It's not too late," added Maze.

To tackle her preparations for next month's Olympics, Maze and her partner and team manager Andrea Massi decided to part company with Italian coach Walter Ronconi and replace him with Swiss Mauro Pini who previously looked after Spain's Maria Jose Rienda Contreras and Lara Gut.   Continued...