Lena Dürr more than earned the firm hug from high-flyer Mikaela Shiffrin after her best result of the season.
On a day when the speed men in Italy experienced their next debacle, the Upper Bavarian made the German Ski Association cheer once more.
The 31-year-old beamed with pride after her second place in the slalom in Spindlermühle in the Czech Republic with the winner Shiffrin.
At least now it's clear: Dürr is to be expected when the World Championships in France begin on February 6th.
"I'm just satisfied.
Second place is really good.
The conditions were perfect, it was a dream until the end," said the athlete from SV Germering on ZDF.
The fact that Dürr was self-critical even after two outstanding rounds demonstrates the increased demands of the German hopes for a medal.
"It wasn't quite clean here and there," complained the Olympic fourth-placed athlete after the World Cup race.
Especially in the first run she left a bit of time in the upper area.
The preparation for the season with the men seems to be paying off.
Dürr wanted to perfect aggressiveness right from the start – and risk it.
With success, because unlike in the past, the German now also attacks in the final round.
Two goals for the season are still open: The first World Cup victory and Shiffrin crack.
But somehow the exceptional American athlete seems unbeatable this winter.
“For the very front, everything really has to fit.
Mikaela can always go one step further," Dürr praised her competitor, who was four years her junior.
Shiffrin celebrated her 11th win of the season in every place where she made her World Cup debut twelve years ago.
The all-rounder is only one win away from Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record for most World Cup successes.
Already this Sunday she can draw level with the Swedish alpine legend.
Alongside slalom specialist Linus Straßer, Dürr is Germany's only major hope for a medal at the forthcoming World Championships.
In the absence of Thomas Dreßen, the German speed men experienced their next debacle on Saturday in Italy.
No starter among the top 20, only Andreas Sander (22nd) and Dominik Schwaiger (30th) in the points.
The Swiss high-flyer Marco Odermatt took the win.