January 6, 2007
KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA - (USST News Bureau Release) - Olympian Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) ignored a late start number Saturday and skied to the best giant slalom result of her career, finishing 14th in an icy, demanding World Cup giant slalom that claimed the Olympic champion, the World Cup GS leader and the World Cup overall leader.
WCSN.com will broadcast same-day video streaming of the race at noon ET and 1:30 p.m. ET.
Austrian Nicole Hosp took the World Cup GS lead from teammate Kathrin Zettel, who hit a gate and failed to finish the first run, as she won in 2:09.85, more than four-tenths of a second up on Italy's Nicole Gius. Ludlow, who ran 55th in the first run, had a two-run time of 2:12.66.
Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) skied off-course in the first run and although she hiked gates, was too far back for a second run; overall leader Marlies Schild of Austria, also crashed. The race was shifted from Maribor to the men's customary World Cup run in Kranjska Gora because of poor snow.
Ludlow's previous best result in GS was 19th three years ago in Maribor but she powered her way to 19th in the first run and kept pushing in her second run.
"It was a pretty disappointing morning (with only Ludlow moving through to a second run), but a great result for Libby. It's her best and we can't complain about that. I think she worked out some things for herself and knows how fast she can go...and now that she's got that feeling, she'll be able to do it again," said Women's SL/GS Head Coach Chris Knight.
Mancuso, he said, "is skiing great but the first run was a tricky set; she was carrying too much speed coming into this delay over a blind roll" and went off course. "But she's in such good form and I don't think it'll knock her back. And Resi (Stiegler - Jackson Hole, WY) was right in there, even starting 57th; if she'd skied the bottom the way she skied the top two two-thirds, she would've been 18th or 19th on that first run."
The women race slalom Sunday before heading to Zauchensee, Austria, for three races - a downhill, super combined and slalom.
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=AL&event_id=20689.