Are, Sweden Feb. 21, 2004 (USST) - Austrian Renate Goetschl earned the 32nd win of her career Saturday and closed on World Cup leader Anja Paerson of Sweden, winning a super G. Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) tied for ninth place and led three U.S. women into the top 15 as women's World Cup racing resumed.
Goetschl's fifth win of the season - and her third in super G - came in 1:09.22 with Carole Montillet of France second at 1:09.44. She leads Montillet 431-402 in SG standings with only World Cup Finals remaining; the top 25 skiers in a discipline plus the World Junior Championships gold medalist and Nor Am and Europa Cup champions are invited to finals March 10-14 in Sestriere, Italy, which will be the main alpine venue for the 2006 Olympics. Paerson, who was 20th Saturday, leads Goetschl 1,231-1,208 in overall points, but there are five tech races remaining, only two speed events, including finals.
Lalive finished in 1:09.76, tying with Germany's Petra Haltmayer, while Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) was 11th and Lindsay Kildow (Vail, CO) came out of the No. 35 start to finish 12th with Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) 17th.
"It was a windy day, almost on the edge of not going, so some girls — like Lindsey — got hit by wind gusts, others didn't," said Alex Hoedlmoser, U.S. women's DH/SG Head Coach. "Some mixed emotions today — the results, the placings don't show how well they skied...but Caroline was just .26 off the podium, Libby was another hundredth back. But it's good for Libby because this was our last speed race before World Cup Finals and she secured a place in Finals; she's 23rd in super G points," Hoedlmoser said. Kildow's strong run placed her 26th in SG points, one place away from being able to race at the World Cup finals at Sestrieres, Italy, in March. She's 14th in downhill, so she gets a start in the year's final DH.
Organizers prepared the hill Friday night and overnight cold created a choppy racing surface, Hoedlmoser said. In addition, the weather changed dramatically toward the back of the race with the overcast sky and flat light changing to sunshine after about the No. 40 starter. Kildow was the last U.S. skier at 35. "There's a little disappointment because the girls were so close," the coach said, "but they skied well."
The women run giant slalom Sunday before heading to Levi, Finland, for two slaloms Feb. 28-29, the first alpine World Cup races to be held in Finland.
WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Are, Sweden - Feb. 21, 2004
Women's Super G
1. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:09.22
2. Carole Montillet, France, 1:09.44
3. Brigitte Obermoser, Austria, 1:09.50
4. Lucia Recchia, Italy, 1:09.52
5. Melanie Suchet, France, 1:09.53
9T. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:09.76
11. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, Wash., 1:09.77
12. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:09.87
17. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:10.21
41. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:12.56