February 24, 2007
SIERRA NEVADA, Spain (Feb. 24) - Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was sixth Saturday in a World Cup giant slalom and tightened the overall points race while Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY), starting 51st, leaped into the top 10 for the first time in a World Cup GS in her career.
WCSN.com will broadcast same-day video streaming at 4 p.m. ET.
Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser won the first women's race as the World Cup resumed after the FIS Alpine World Championships in Sweden; her time was 2:14.41 with teammate and newly crowned GS world champion Nicole Hosp second at 2:14.83. Mancuso was sixth, Stiegler - who rocketed from 51st start to 22nd in the first run - had the fifth-fastest second run to finish 10th and Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, VT) 17th for the best result of her World Cup career, too.
"We've got a GS team again," said GS Head Coach Chris Knight. "We had one going into Aspen (in November) and it kind of went into hiding for a while, but it came back today. We know Julia can do better but a personal best for two skiers on the same day...that's pretty cool."
Heading into the final three weeks of the World Cup season, Austrian Renate Goetschl leads with 1,019 points; Marlies Schild, another Austrian, is second at 952 with Mancuso third at 943 with Hosp fourth (939). Goetschl was 14th and Schild seventh Saturday, so Mancuso - who is returning after leaving Worlds early to catch five days of rest before the final bid for the overall title - and Hosp tightened the points tussle.
Coach: rest did Mancuso "a world of good"
"The time off did Julia a world of good," said SL/GS Head Coach Chris Knight. "She was a little off on her timing - she wasn't able to stay over her right-footed turns (i.e., to the left) as well as she can, but that'll come back. We'll see more good results from her.
"But that 10th for Resi was unbelievable," he said. "She was just three-tenths off the fastest time on that second run; she just let it and fully charged the course. She really brought her 'A Game' to GS today."
Course conditions, he said, "were perfect. We're at 10,000 feet, and they injected (i.e., inserted water into the snow to stabilize it) this week and there was some decent chatter, but this is the best GS hill we've had all season - even sitting in the sun all day it was rock hard. Resi moved up to 22nd, even with a big mistake...and without that mistake, she could've easily been top 15, even coming out of 51st.
"She really showed her potential in GS. It's what she's really capable of...and it can get better, too."
Coach: Kelley needs to trust herself, risk more
Kelley was 21st in the first run, one-hundredth of a second faster than Stiegler and came up with her first World Cup top-20. "Jess was a little conservative, skiing a little round (versus taking a tighter line through the gates) on the top of her second run. If she'd just trust herself a little more, and risk it a little more, she could be a World Cup top-15 skier in GS. She can do it," Knight said.
The women ski slalom Sunday and then head to Tarvisio, Italy with a super combined Friday, followed by a downhill and super G. First run of the slalom is at 3 a.m. ET with second run at 6 a.m.; live interval timing is available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com and WCSN.com will have same-day video streaming Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=AL&event_id=20286.