Lake Louise, Alberta, Dec. 1, 2001--A continual light snow that started before dawn and racing first in the field of 63 skiers didn't phase Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) as she collected the third top-3 result of her World Cup career and the women's first podium result. German Petra Haltmayr won the super G on the final day of the Winterstart World Cup and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA).
Outdoor Life Network will televise coverage of the super G Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. EST. OLN also will broadcast coverage of the two downhills, which opened the women's annual World Cup visit to this Canadian Rockies ski area, Monday night at 9 EST.
Haltmayr, whose only other World Cup win came a year ago when she won the first of two DHs at Lake Louise, skied No. 6 and finished with a time of 1:15.09. Second place went to Carole Montillet of France in 1:15.77 and Lalive, who finished second in a combined event each of the last two years, stepped onto her first race podium in 1:15.88.
Mendes, a dazed 45th Friday in the DH after being 13th in her comeback the previous day from a broken bone in her ankle last March, was 10th for the first super Gtop-10 of her career. Her time was 1:16.41 while Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), troubled by fogged goggles, was 19th (1:16.84) with Katie Monahan (Aspen, CO) in25th at 1:17.04
Lalive: "One race at a time...(still)"
Lalive, sporting a purple swipe under her left eye, a memento from the slalom pole that smacked her 10 days earlier at Copper Mountain, accepted congratulationsfrom foreign competitors, including Austria's former World Cup champion Renate Goetschl -- with whom Lalive shares a waxing technician -- and Italy's IsoldeKostner, who won the two DHs Thursday and Friday, and trading French conversation with Montillet and Melanie Suchet, who finished fifth.
"Overall, this just builds your confidence," the Coloradoan said. "I don't want to jump ahead of myself and make any predictions, or anything of that sort. This is gonnatake me into the next race feeling a lot more confident and excited. I'm taking it one race at a time...
"You never know. Skiing is weird. Sometimes you feel great and you're butt-slow, and sometimes you feel like you're out of control and you're fast," Lalive toldreporters with a big smile. "I felt like it was a good run and I just had to wait."
Mendes said the continual snow softened the light, but didn't entirely disrupt the skiers. After training in two days of overcast weather, the first two days of racing werein sunshine...but the super G was a different story with the snow. "Our training runs were kind of like this -- it's light but you can't see as well as you could if it's sunnyand you can see the snow. It was a little flat light, but the course was well taken care of, so..."
Coaches cautiously optimistic
The big swing in her results was another reminder than in coming back from an injury she had to be patient and keep plugging. "I approached it like it was a newday," she said. "I've never been injured before, so I don't know how it goes," she said, "and I certainly don't know what happened Friday when she was 45th...but Ihave to stay patient and keep doing my best."
"Still room for improvement," said DH/SG Head Coach Jim Tracy, "but the girls are skiing well. The young ones Lindsey Kildow, Vail, CO, and Julia Mancuso, SquawValley, CA are paying their dues, but Lindsey looked liek she was headed for a top-10 and Julia probably would've been top 20, so it's a good start for the season forus."
Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj reflected on the entire set of races, not simply the super G and said, "The whole team stepped up. This was a great weekend; it startedwith the downhills. I'm really happy for CCaroline. After a little slump in slalom and GS, this should give her incredible confidence."
Most of the women will stay in Lake Louise and race part of the Nor Am Cup schedule, including a pair of super Gs and a FIS-B super G, before heading to Europe forthe resumption of the schedule.
CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Winterstart World Cup
Lake Louise, ALB - Dec. 1
Women's Super G (First of the season)
1. Petra Haltmayr, Germany, 1:15.09
2. Carole Montillet, France, 1:15.77
3. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:15.88
4. Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:15.93
5. Melanie Suchet, France, 1:16.04
10. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:16.41
19. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:16.84
25. Katie Monahan, Aspen, Colo., 1:17.04
38. Picabo Street, Park City, Utah, 1:17.53
46. Tatum Skoglund, Bellevue, Wash., 1:18.06
Women's Overall (6 races)
1. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 316 points
2. Isolde Kostner, Italy, 242
3. Montillet, 169
4. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 140
5. Allison Forsyth, Canada, 137
14. Clark, 97
18. Street, 85
22. Lalive, 77
29. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 56
33. Mendes, 33
70. Monahan, 9
75. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 4