Mancuso notches first win of the season in Garmisch Super G, Vonn skis out
American Julia Mancuso isn't settling for just podiums this season, she is after wins. And she knows she can do it.
It's that confidence that fueled the Squaw Valley, Calif. native today (Feb. 5) as she earned her first World Cup victory of the season and the sixth of her career in today's super G race to cap an American sweep of this weekend's wins in cold Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Mancuso, the 17th racer to take on the challenging, 38-turn Kandahar course, was the first skier in 15 starters to finish with a green leading time after skiing a brilliant run and taking a 0.45-second temporary lead on Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather - the first woman out of the gate today. Two starters later, Austria’s Anna Fenninger was the only racer to truly threaten Mancuso’s time, 0.13 seconds back to finish second. Weirather would hang on to finish third and match her result in yesterday’s downhill here.
It was Mancuso’s first World Cup win since the final downhill of last season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland and her fourth podium of this season. Before last season's win, Mancuso had gone three year's without a victory.
“At this point in my career, I really want to win. I go into every race with that attitude and I knew that today - just like the other super G's - you have to put it all on the line,” said Mancuso. “You can't hold back at all if you want to win a super G. When I crossed the finish line, I thought, 'if that wasn't good enough, then I don't know what is.”
Mancuso, a three-time Olympic medalist, won her fourth world championships medal - a silver in the super G - on the same hill last season.
Mancuso said the flat lighting conditions made the race difficult or all racers, a situation she thrives in.
“It was very difficult, I really couldn't see much, but that was what you had to do - you had to go for it. I knew that I kept my speed the whole way despite a couple of mistakes,” said Mancuso. “I stayed in there, it was a rough ride, but I managed to make it to the finish.”
It was a beautiful but bitter cold day in the Bavarian Alps. The sun shined bright in patches of the course while temperatures hung around -4 F and winds were calm throughout the race.
A total of 14 racers failed to finish the 1.2-mile tricky course set by French coach Nicolas Burtin. Five of the first seven racers missed the same gate near the middle of the course before coaches were able to radio up and stop the bleeding. The most notable DNF of the day came from overall leader, American Lindsey Vonn, winner three of five World Cup super G races this season.
Vonn was thrown an extra curve ball at the start when course officials delayed her about five minutes to repair a gate after she had taken off her outer layer in the freezing start house. Vonn attempted to stay loose and warm during delay by slapping her legs unbuckling her boots. Once finally on the course, she was in trouble early on, throwing her skis sideways near the top of the hill. Vonn then misjudged a tight, right-hand turn, cutting it a bit to close and throwing herself off line, and missing the next gate. Just yesterday, Vonn recorded the 50th World Cup win of her career in the downhill.
Two starters later, overall threat Tina Maze of Slovenia also failed to finish.
Vonn maintains clear control of the overall rankings with 1350 points, holding a 482-point advantage on Maze in second.
Vonn said she was not sad or disappointed in the outcome of today’s race, instead she takes momentum from this weekend. “I'm third in the giant slalom World Cup and I've never been in that position before,” said Vonn. “I'm going [to Soldeu] to win. The giant slalom World Cup title is definitely a goal.”
Fenninger, who had a breakout performance here last season winning the super combined world title, secured her fifth podium of the season a month after taking her first World Cup win in a GS at Lienz.
Weirather is also enjoying the best season of her career. Today’s result marks her fourth Cup top-three finish, all coming this season in speed events.
Defending overall champ and Garmisch local, Maria Hoefl-Riesch repeated her result in yesterday’s downhill, again falling just short (a tenth of a second) of the podium in fourth place, 0.55 seconds behind Mancuso.
Mancuso would be the only American woman to finish today. Laurenne Ross joined the lengthy DNF list after losing her balance on the Himmelreich jump near the top of the course and missing the following gate. Teammates Stacey Cook and Alice McKenis also failed to finish. Leanne Smith did not start following a fall in one of this week’s training runs.
“We wanted to win this thing and every single one of our athletes had that attitude. The plan was to go like hell and see what the outcome is,” said U.S. head coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “Lindsey was on a good track and maybe we could have had one and two, but she caught a little bit of an edge and couldn't finish. And the other athletes were hammering too, but to win, you just need one in the finish.”
Marie-Pier Prefontaine led three Canadian starters in 16th followed by Larisa Yurkiw in 36th and Kelley VanderBeek in 38th.
The women’s World Cup now moves to Soldeau-Grandvalira, Andorra for a pair of giant slalom races and a slalom Feb. 10-12.
MORE TO COME
Image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup super G, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 5, 2012
1 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
2 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
3 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
4 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
5 Curtoni, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Marchand-Arvier, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
8 Schnarf, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
9 Moser, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Merighetti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
Women's World Cup super G, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 5, 2012. ... It is the 23rd race of the women's 40 (now 39) race 2012 schedule. ... the fifth of seven super G's. ... It is the 93rd World Cup held at least in part at Garmisch or Partenkirchen. ... the 25th super G. ... Garmisch also World Championships last season and in 1978 and the 1936 Winter Olympics.
It is the sixth career World Cup win for Julia Mancuso. ... Her second in super G, the last scored Jan. 19, 2007 at Cortina. ... It is her first Cup win at Garmisch. ... She won the silver medal in SG at Garmisch a year ago. ... It is her first win and fourth podium of the season. ... She is the fourth US skier to claim a win this season. ... It is the 13th US win of the season.
It is the eighth career World cup podium placing for Anna Fenninger. ... and sixth in super G. ... It is her fifth podium of the season and fourth in SG (also won the GS at Lienz). ... It is her second best result at Garmisch having won the gold medal in combined at World Championships last season.
It is the fourth career World Cup podium (without a win) for Tina Weirather and the first not earned in downhill. ... All of those podium placings have come this season. ... It is her second third at Garmisch in two days.
North Americans: It is the second best career result for Marie-Pier Prefontaine. ... All of her other five scoring results have come in GS. ... It is her second score of the season, the other from Aspen Nov. 26.
Standings: Lindsey Vonn (DNF) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1350-868 over Tina Maze (DNF). ... Maria Hoefl-Riesch (fourth in race) is third with 796pts. ... Mancuso in sixth with 607pts. ... Marie-Michele Gagnon is top Canadian overall with 136pts. ... Vonn maintains the lead of the super G standings 313-293 over Fenninger. ... Mancuso moves to third with 269pts. ... Prefontaine is top Canadian in 38th with 15pts. ... Austria leads the womens' Nations Cup standings 3758-2528 over the US with Italy third at 1826pts. ... Canada is 11th with 269pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|15||29||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:21.86||17.91|
|31||40||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:23.33||37.26|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|2||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|