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Anna Fenninger was almost in disbelief after another strong showing in Are, Sweden gave her a second giant slalom win in two days.
Anna Fenninger was one of the standout performers at the Winter Olympics. She followed up gold in the super-G with silver in the giant slalom.
The Austrian has picked up where she left off in Russia with an excellent two weeks back on the World Cup circuit.
Downhill success on a weather-hit weekend at Swiss resort Crans Montana was denied by a surprise victor (more on whom later). But Fenninger was standing on top of the podum in Are, Sweden a week later—twice.
The 24-year-old's successive giant slalom firsts added to her solitary World Cup win this season—also in giant slalom in her native Austria in December—and crucially have given her a chance of momentous finals week.
Fenninger is second on the overall, downhill and giant slalom leaderboards and is effectively second in the super-G behind Switzerland's Lara Gut with Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein out for the season.
Gut will not give up her 71 point advantage easily, though. Nor will the women currently ahead of Fenninger elsewhere.
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch currently leads in the overall and downhill standings. The Olympic super-combined champion has had a patchy return to World Cup action—she has not finished in the top five in any of her four events since Sochi.
In giant slalom, Jessica Lindell-Vikarby's third in the second of the two Are events could prove crucial as she looks to hold on to her top spot.
Beyond her individual ambitions, success for Fenninger could be huge for Austria too. As the Associated Press' Graham Dunbar noted on Tuesday via Yahoo, "Not since 2002 have the Austrians held both the men's and women's overall titles, but Hirscher and Fenninger can achieve just that at the World Cup Finals this week."
After the Alpine skiing-mad country topped the sport's table at the Games, 2014 could be about to get even sweeter for Austria.