January 20, 2006
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP by Erica Bulman)—Michaela Dorfmeister posted her second World Cup super-G victory of the season Friday, strengthening her hold on the discipline before next month's Olympics.
Dorfmeister, the reigning super-G World Cup champion, covered the 2,358-meter Corviglia course in 1 minute, 17.20 seconds, 0.40 ahead of runner-up Tina Maze of Slovenia.
"I am very proud I won this, said the 32-year-old Austrian, who was the super-G world champion on the same course in 2003. "This is one of the most difficult super-G courses I have ever raced.
"It was also difficult because I was leading the standings and wearing the red bib so I was the favorite.
Dorfmeister, retiring after the season, is the only woman to have won more than one super-G this season.
Maze, the winner of the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, had never finished better than third in the super-G.
"It was a difficult course set and you had to be smart, Maze said. "There were places that were really turny and I was really happy to make it through some of those gates. But I also let my skis go so I'm happy with that, too.
Nicole Hosp of Austria was third, 0.56 back, for her first podium in a speed event.
"I am super-happy with my podium, said Hosp, one of seven Austrians to finish in the top 10.
The day featured several flops as many of the sport's top names struggled with a difficult course that included several tight blind turns.
Overall World Cup champion Anja Paerson of Sweden went out on the upper section, and overall leader Janica Kostelic finished out of the top 10 after skiing tentatively following reports on the toughness of the course.
"The course was maybe set a bit too complicated, said Kostelic, who tore four knee ligaments and badly damaged two more during downhill practice in 1999. "When I heard so many girls went out I decided to ski too careful. You all know I am not the bravest girl in the world. But it was the wrong approach. The only really troublesome gate was one on the last pitch near the finish.
Americans Lindsey Kildow and Julia Mancuso both went out on the same turn after the second split. Both women took a left turn too wide on a steep pitch. Mancuso was leading at the time, while Kildow was only slightly off the pace.
"It's just really disappointing, Kildow said. "It was my stupid mistake. It was really blind up top. You picked up a lot of speed off that pitch and you don't want to be out in the powder setting up too much, and you don't want to go too low otherwise you're going out. I thought I had the right line but I missed it by a hair.
After 19 races, Kostelic leads the overall standings with 998 points. Dorfmeister is second with 830 points and Paerson is third at 685 points.
Dorfmeister padded her lead atop the super-G table, where she has 420 points. Teammate Alexandra Meissnitzer is second with 360 points, while Nadia Styger of Switzerland is third with 242.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press