January 27, 2006
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Jan. 27) - Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) reached her first World Cup podium Friday, finishing second in steadily falling snow to Swedish great Anja Paerson with Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) third in a super G after an overnight storm forced 2-1/2 hours of delays.
OLN provides World Cup coverage each Sunday at 5 p.m. ET as part of its 10 Weeks to Torino programming, with a re-air Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.
Paerson collected her sixth win of the season - in her fourth discipline (she's missing only combined) - with a time of 1:16.75. Mancuso covered the 1.85K course in 1:17.09 with Kildow finishing in 1:17.53. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) was 12th with Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 15th.
New snow reminded Mancuso of Lake Tahoe
"It's sweet," Mancuso said after trailing slightly at the first interval and then ripping through the middle and bottom on Cortina's gnarly Olympia delle Tofane course. "The top has these open, super G turns and it's not too hard but the middle and bottom are a little more tactical.
"We had no sunshine but it was brightly snowing, so it wasn't too bad," said Mancuso, who geew up skiing at Squaw Valley. "It reminded me of powder dumps in Tahoe. There were places you couldn't see the ground but it wasn't too bad. I'm kinda used to it from home. If you looked at it, the light was flat but there was some good definition.
"They did a great job of slipping out the new snow," Mancuso said. "The snow is so light and flakey here and they did such a good job clearing it out that it wasn't a problem."
The race was to have begun at 10:30 a.m. but the overnight snow, which began as dusk fell Thursday, forced a 90-minute delay. The women inspected and then had to wait another hour for organizers to continue clearing the course. [pagebreak]Second two-Americans podium for Kildow
It's the second time this season Kildow has been on the podium with one of her teammates. She won a downhill in Val d'Isere in December and Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) was second. "It's cool, so nice to have one of your teammates up on the podium with you," she said.
"I'm psyched. She skied so well and two Americans in the top three is definitely sweet."
Kildow said she felt she was skiing better, now that the schedule has swung back toward speed events following four stops with slalom and GS. After Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, with two DHs and a super G and then St. Moritz last weekend with a downhill and super G (plus one-day super combined), she's in more of a speed rhythm, even on a course that claimed an even dozen skiers who failed to finish.
"This is our third weekend of speed races and I'm getting it together more, finding the groove. We had that long technical run (Spinderluv Mlyn, Czech Republic; Lienz, Austria; Zagreb, Croatia; and Maribor, Slovenia), and that was tough for me. I have to be a little nervous to attack," she explained.
The overnight snow created soft conditions "especially if you got off-line, and I was definitely off-line - I made a big mistake, but, fortunately I was able to carry my speed into the bottom section," she laughed. "They did such a good job getting the course in good shape. We knew we'd be able to race. It was so much worse in Val d'Isere and we raced, so we didn't have much concern today. We knew we'd go. The track was good and the light was definitely bad and it was snowing pretty hard." [pagebreak]Coach also lauds course crew
Head Coach Patrick Riml agreed with his top two women. "These are tough conditions, and even on a sunny day, this is such a tough course...really, it's awesome, just a great challenge, so the girls - all of them - did well today. They had 15-20 centimeters of snow but, coming down after the race, you couldn't tell 60 skiers raced. They did an awesome job of preparing the course.
"Julia's been skiing so well the last two weeks, and she's had solid training runs here. Lindsey had a big mistake in front me - she went too straight on one section and had to throw 'em sideways, but she got right back into it and still was third," Riml said. "And 'Clarky' and Libby skied so well, too. This was a good day all around...and, y'know, we were thinking of 'Liner' (Lalive, who injured her left knee in a training run Wednesday and was flying Friday for medical evaluation and surgery at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, CO) because she would have had a good one today, too. We wish the best for her."
The women run downhill Saturday - follow live results at 4 a.m. ET (http://livetiming.usskiteam.com) - at this 1956 Olympic resort and finish Sunday with giant slalom before moving on to their final pre-Olympic races Feb. 3-5 in Ofterschwang, Germany, with two giant slaloms and a slalom.
WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA - Jan. 27, 2006
Women's Super G
1. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:16.75
2. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:17.09
3. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:17.53
4. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:17.77
5. Petra Haltmayr, Germany, 1:17.84
12. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:18.23
15. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, Wash., 1:18.40
32. Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif., 1:19.61
45. Jonna Mendes, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 1:20.70
47. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 1:20.90
For complete results: