Loveland, CO, Nov. 13, 2000--Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) and Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) reversed the order of things Sunday, smoothing out a few wrinkles, but the improbable result was the same as 24 hours earlier: U.S. victories in both ends of the second Chevy Truck Super Series slalom of the season at Loveland Valley Ski Area. Schleper led a 1-4-5 performance by U.S. women.
Outdoor Life Network will broadcast coverage of the weekend Feb. 8 at 9p.m. EST.
One day after Schleper crushed the women's field by 1.59 seconds and Schlopy tied Austrian Kilian Albrecht in the season-opening slalom, they came through again. Schlopy led both runs and crossed the finish line in 1:27.94 with a smile for his second win at Loveland. Albrecht finished in 1:28.35 with teammate Mario Matt third (1:28.64).
Schleper fought her way through two bobbles on the final pitch to win the women's race - and another $1,500 - in dramatic fashion to win in 1:33.66. Karin Koellerer of Austria was second in 1:34.29 with Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) fourth in 1:34.69 and 16-year-old Lindsey C. Kildow (Vail, CO) fifth with a time of 1:35.19. Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN), skiing independently this season, was 11th with Julia Mancuso (Tahoe City, CA) 16th.
Women Show Rebound from Soelden
It was an encouraging turn-around for the women, who struggled Oct. 28 in the season-opening GS at Soelden, Austria. The World Cup schedule resumes with the Chevy Truck America's Opening Thursday through Sunday at Park City Mountain Resort while the Super Series schedule resumes Nov. 20-21 with men's giant slaloms in Park City and women's giant slaloms at Winter Park, Colo.
"I love this hill. I spent so much time skiing here and I'm really comfortable," Schleper said. She was a little hazy on what happen with the finish line in sight, she said, but Coach Georg Capaul said she hit a rut, that caused her to lose an edge; she fell back but righted herself, saved another near-spill and tore across the finish line.
"I must've gotten in the back a seat a little. I lost an edge. That was major, but at least I put it all on the line and kept it going all the way to the finish," she said. Hitting the rut threw her a bit, she said, "and at that point I pretty much thought the race was over because I'd scrubbed so much speed. I was, like, 'Oh, I've got to let 'em fly down here at the bottom' and that's what I did."
Lalive, who had ankle surgery in the spring, which delayed the start of her preseason training until mid-summer, was highly pleased with her fourth-place result. "This is definitely a good step up. Every day is good. I feel good going into Park City," she said.
Kildow, who skied out Saturday, said she focused between runs on "what I needed to do tactically, because Saturday I was kinda just sloughing it and I wasn't really there. Today, I made sure my feet were really quick and I was really aggressive, and I think I carried out very nicely."
Capaul: "These girls are fast..."
"I knew this was going to be a good one," said women's GS/slalom Coach Georg Capaul. "I could see it in Sarah's eyes, and I know these girls are skiing fast, despite what happened in Soelden. I had no doubts about Sarah when I saw her before the race - you can tell by the way she's moving before the first run - and Caroline gets better every day. But, Lindsey and Julia - those are huge results. Lindsey skied the way she's been training; it's a very spectacular result for her...and for Julia to do this in slalom is big, too."
In the men's race, Schlopy enjoyed a soft laugh in the finish area. "I got rid of my first-run jitters in Soelden, my second-run jitters yesterday, and today it was cake," he said. "Saturday, I think some people may have thought, 'Oh, it's a fluke and the Austrians are starting in the back.' But today they were all starting with me, and up on top I actually felt good. This was two good runs, not one out-of-sight, extraordinary run and thhen a survivor run...about 10 gates from the bottom - right in the middle of the pitch I started smiling because I knew I had it.
"It's a confidence builder, but you don't want to let anything get into your head. I can't just say, 'These guys don't have me' because the fact of the matter is in Park City I'm gonna be starting in the 30s, maybe the 40s. I'm not gonna go in there and expect to win - I'll go in and expect to put another notch in the wood, where I can keep climbing, that's the key."
CHEVY TRUCK SUPER SERIES
Loveland Valley, CO - Nov. 12
1. Erik Schlopy, Park City, Utah, 1:27.94
2. Kilian Albrecht, Austria, 1:28.35
3. Mario Matt, Austria, 1:28.64
4. Andre Miklavc, Slovenia, 1:29.32
5. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 1:29.34
6. Mitja Kunc, Slovenia, 1:29.36
7. Mario Reiter, Austria, 1:29.39
8. Markus Larsson, Sweden, 1:29.48
9. Didier Plaschy, Switzerland, 1:29.50
10. Jure Kosir, Slovenia, 1:29.52
11. Chip Knight, New Canaan, Conn., 1:29.57
14. Sacha Gros, Vail, Colo., 1:30.15
16. Brad Hogan, Holmes, N.Y., 1:30.23
28. T.J. Lanning, Park City, 1:31.72
30. Teddy Berglund, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:31.97
1. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 1:33.66
2. Karin Koellerer, Austria, 1:34.29
3, Claudia Riegler, New Zeland, 1:34.57
4. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:34.69
5. Lindsey C. Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:35.19
6. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:35.29
7. Christel Saioni, France, 1:35.37
8. Vanessa Vidal, France, 1:35.64
9. Spela Pretnar, Slovenia, 1:36.53
10. Anna Prchal, Canada, 1:36.62
11. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:36.88
16. Julia Mancuso, Tahoe City, Calif., 1:37.16