By Manuele Lang
LIENZ, Austria, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Anna Fenninger has made such a habit of winning World Cup races on Dec. 28 that the Austrian media call it 'Fenninger Day' and the 24-year-old chalked up a hat-trick of giant slalom victories on Saturday.
The girl wonder of Austrian skiing also won here in 2011 and on precisely the same day on home snow in Semmering a year ago.
Fenninger's triumph on Saturday represented her first World Cup victory of the season and her fifth overall. She clocked a combined time of two minutes 17 seconds to beat Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby by half a second.
"It's kind of funny that it's worked once again on December 28. It's so hard for me in giant slaloms that it makes me even happier," the 2011 super-combined world champion told reporters.
"I came here with good memories from the previous years and I tried to build on that. In the past I have often let myself be carried away by home races."
Fenninger is now second in the overall World Cup standings on 597 points, 12 behind Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather.
"I knew that during the Christmas break I would get the energy I needed," she said. "Those two days did me a hell of a lot of good.
"I've been close to that victory since the start of the winter...and yes, they should put that date in the calendar as a holiday."
Lindell-Vikarby is the clear leader in the giant slalom standings on 332 points, 110 ahead of compatriot Maria Pietilae-Holmner. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)