March 3, 2006
HAFJELL, Norway (USST Press Release)—A healthy Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) rebounded from her Olympic frustrations Friday to earn her third World Cup win of the season, and the first super G victory of her career, as part of an historic three-way tie for the win. The top four skiers were one-hundredth of a second apart with Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) tied for sixth place and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) ninth.
Kildow, Olympic champion Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria and Swiss racer Nadia Styger deadlocked at 1:18.65 over the 2.1K course with Canadian Kelly Vanderbeek down in 1:18.66. Mancuso's time was 1:18.76 and Ludlow finished in 1:19.08. Dorfmeister, who is retiring after the season, clinched the World Cup SG title with the victory.
Going into her second Olympics last month, Kildow had been among the favorites in downhill and super G; she won the opening DH of the season at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies and won another in Val d'Isere, France. But she was hospitalized overnight following a training crash in San Sicario, Italy, and didn't contend for an Olympic medal.
Friday, the 21-year-old Kildow washed away some of that frustration.
"I'm really, really psyched. It's an awesome day, really kinda crazy with all of us tying like this, she said. "I really felt for Kelly because she was fourth in San Sicario at the Olympics, too, and I know that feeling after being fourth twice last year at (2005) World Championships. It's crazy...
Nice end-of-run save leads to win
Kildow said a mid-course correction on the lower half of the run helped salvage what might have turned into a problem. "I was carrying a ton of 'heat' (speed) and didn't have time to set up properly, she explained. "It was a close call but I'm glad I finished. Three of us tied...pretty crazy.
Women's speed Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser said Kildow could have won the race except for that mistake at the bottom. "Lindsey was ready. She was healthy and ready to rock, he said. "She wanted to show she's better than what she skied at the Olympics when she wasn't 100 percent; you have to be 100 percent at the Olympics to do well...
"I thought she had this one. At the last split, she was .4 ahead but she went over a big jump and she went in too straight, and she recognized that, so she had to drop some speed to make it, and she did. And a win is a win, right? Lindsey did a good job to pull it off at the bottom, the coach said.
For Kildow, it was a pleasant about-face from her Olympic disappointments. "I was skiing so well before the Olympics. It was just with my injury I had some problems. But I'm skiing well again, she said. "I actually took seven days off snow after the Olympics to rest my back and it's paying off.[pagebreak]Course harder than it looks
The Hafjell course, criticized before the 1994 Olympics as too easy for the women downhillers, "has a lot of rolls and is definitely interesting. It's not super easy - it's harder than San Sicario, steeper and has a lot of terrain - but we were concerned (Thursday) when we free-skied that the snow was really, really soft.
"But they scraped it away, pushed it all off and got down to the icy base, and it was a good base, so we had a fast course, she said.
Flat light created problems for the first 30 racers - Styger ran 26th, Kildow 27th and Dorfmeister 20th (Ludlow skied ninth with Mancuso 21st) - on the Kringelasen course before the sun broke through and changed conditions for later skiers.
"There were a lot of breakovers where you couldn't see, Kildow said, "and you were getting a lot of air. The main thing was carrying your speed and trusting yourself over those sections because you had to carry your speed really well through the bottom because it's not really steep, so that was a key part of the course.
Win is major confidence boost
The victory, the fourth of her career, is "really big — big for my confidence. I felt for a while that luck just wasn't on my side and today was a really big confidence booster, according to Kildow. "I was feeling down after the Olympics and now I'm feeling good about myself. My skiing's really good right now and I've proven to myself that I can do it and I just need to trust myself.
Snow conditions, following a storm that covered the track Thursday, were good, he said. The soft snow had set-up during the night and racers found fast conditions despite the flat light, which gave way for the back half of the field once the sun arrived. The first three racers failed to finish their run while eight of the top 30 came from outside the No. 31 start.
"Julia and Libby did a really good job, Hoedlmoser added. "Libby was behind on the first split - it's kind of flat at the top - but she really nailed the bottom and did so well. And 'Jules' was a little tentative through the middle section in the flat light, so that cost her, but obviously she skied the rest of it well. They were all so tight - she tied for sixth and was just 11-hundredths off, so you know she skied fast.
Heading into the final weeks of the season, Kildow is fourth overall behind croatian Janica Kostelic (whose father set Friday's SG course), including second in DH and fourth in super G.
The women race a one-day, super combined Saturday, including a super G and a slalom, and then run giant slalom Sunday. They face two slaloms March 10-11 in Levi, Finland, and then World Cup Finals March 15-19 in Are, Sweden, host of the 2007 World Alpine Ski Championships.
Hear Kildow talk about her super G win at totaldisruption.com. [pagebreak]WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Hafjell, NOR - March 3, 2006
Women's Super G
1. (tie) Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo.; Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria; Nadia Styger, Switzerland, 1:18.65 each
4. Kelly Vanderbeek, Canada, 1:18.66
5. Lucia Recchia, Italy, 1:18.70
6T. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:18.76
9. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, Wash., 1:19.08
23. Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif., 1:19.60
31. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:19.94
38. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, Wyo., 1:20.29
40. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 1:20.33