Austria’s Dorfmeister masters second of two downhills at Cortina d’AmpezzoWhen Michaela Dorfmeister ended a personal win drought at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Jan. 16, she also created a snarl at the top of the DH standings. With two downhills remaining any one of six women could still win the 2005 World Cup downhill title. This is a sports battle of awesome proportions.
The race was the final of four speed races in five days at Cortina and the story of the week was of Renate Goetschl, the Austrian “Speed Queen.” She won both super G’s and the first downhill, taking over possession of the World Cup’s overall, DH and SG standings.
But Dorfmeister wrote the final chapter in 2005 and put sudden question into the outcome of the tour. “It is a very emotional win for me,” said a teary-eyed Dorfmeister from the top step of the podium. “Cortina is the classic race of the women’s circuit, like Kitzbuehel for the men. I had to wait 13 years – 37 or 38 races.”
Dorfmeister has scored in 33 World Cups at Cortina and has podiums in three different disciplines at the Italian site, but had never counted a win. Finally, when it counted most, she etched her first. “I had almost a strange sensation in the starting hut. I wasn’t as nervous as usual and I was able to ski the exact line I wanted.”
She was third fastest through the first interval, but continued to pick up time throughout the rest of the course. By the bottom she was well ahead with just four top seeded skiers left to run. When Goetschl failed to overtake her at any point on the course, the win was secured.
Goetschl said she would long remember her weekend at Cortina. Well she should, having tied a World Cup mark set by Ingemar Stenmark with eight wins at the same site. Plus, she now leads the World Cup in three categories, including overall. “I’m pleased to be leading, but I think everything will change with the technical disciplines coming up,” she said. “But, it was a fantastic week I will never forget.”
Goetschl leads the DH rankings with 435 pts from a win, three second place finishes and top five results in all six held. German Hilde Gerg is second with 375 pts with a win, three thirds and top five results in all six held. American Lindsey Kildow sits third with 348 pts from a win, a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth.
Dorfmeister has two wins, a fourth and a fifth and Frenchwoman Carole Montillet-Carles has a second, two third and a fifth in the bank. All-star Croate Janica Kostelic hasn’t been eliminated either.
One mistake over the course of the season may can be costly. She who blinks faces an uphill downhill fight. In the final race here, the 20 year old Kildow blinked. She was the fastest skier at the second interval but then got pushed inside her line. By the time she corrected and got back on track the race was well out of hand. She finished 18th.
Her coach wasn’t totally displeased. “Lindsey was really flying out there,” said coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “She was out there to win it, risking everything. On a big sweeping turn. … a turn with a lot of forces, she was taking a very direct line and moved inside a little at the end of the turn. You had to have perfect body position and she was just inside a little and that happens when you’re attacking. If you don’t risk anything, you don’t win anything.”
There is no consolation in the fact she is 20 while Dorfmeister is 31 and Goetschl 29 both with a decade of experience on the Olympia delle Tofane course. Kildow is out to set the World Cup on its ear. Now she knows what one mistake can cost.
The fight for the overall title took some twists as well. Although Goetschl currently has the lead, as she points out there are technical races on the horizon. Janica Kostelic, just nine points back, was fourth in the race and can win in any of the other disciplines. Anja Paerson placed fifth, far and away her best DH result ever, and she already has five podiums in other disciplines this season. Goetschl hasn’t won a slalom since 1993 and has never won a GS.
On the day the U.S. scored five competitors for the sixth time in DH this season, and got two top 10 placings even with Kildow’s somewhat disasterous placing. Julia Mancuso posted eighth and Kirsten Clark 10th with Caroline Lalive 13th and Bryna McCarty 23rd.
“The girls were charging,” said Hoedlmoser. “just attack all the way. Julia (Mancuso) did a fantasic job, just ripping, and Kirsten had another top 10. … She’s getting it back with every race.”
Clark, the team veteran at 27, is fighting her way back from injuries to both knees and a wrist, agreed. “It definitely feels good to be in the top 10 again, but the bigger aspect is just racing again. In all the races leading into Cortina I was racing… sending it down the hill. … but it wasn’t where it could be. But now I’m back on track.” She is anticipating a strong result at the World Championships at Bormio/SantaCaterina next month.
Canadian Emily Brydon clocked in seventh, her fifth best result ever and best of the season. She was estatic, however, with having gotten back on horse after an ugly crash the day before.
“For me it’s a bigger victory to have overcome the fears… than to have had a good result. The biggest thing I did today was block out all the negative thoughts that tried to put me down. I didn’t try to fight them, I just worked on letting them go.”
Kelly Vanderbeek posted 24th for the Maple Leaf and said she was happy to be regaining a feel for the snow.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Jan. 16, 2005
1. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:36.62
2. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:37.21
3. Hilde Gerg, GER 1:37.40
4. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:37.43
5. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:37.72
6. Sylvaine Berthod, SUI 1:37.75
7. Emily Brydon, CAN 1:37.85
8. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:37.92
9. Alexandra Meissnitzer, AUT 1:37.99
10. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:38.09
11. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:38.18
12. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, SWE 1:38.20
13. Caroline Lalive, USA 1:38.22
13. Janette Hargin, SWE 1:38.22
15. Isabelle Huber, GER 1:38.24
16. Isolde Kostner, ITA 1:38.26
17. Karin Blaser, AUT 1:38.27
18. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:38.31
19. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:38.48
20. Astrid Vierthaler, AUT 1:38.50
21. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:38.52
22. Katja Wirth, AUT 1:38.65
23. Bryna McCarty, USA 1:38.75
24. Kelly Vanderbeek, CAN 1:39.03
25. Daniela Ceccarelli, ITA 1:39.14
26. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:39.15
27. Marie Marchand-Arvier, FRA 1:39.32
28. Petra Haltmayr, GER 1:39.35
29. Selina Heregger, AUT 1:39.44
30. Wendy Siorpaes, ITA 1:39.54
other North Americans:
34. Jonna Mendes, USA 1:39.76
36. Sophie Splawinski, CAN 1:39.92
42. Anne Marie LeFrancois, CAN 1:41.17
By Hank McKee
Women’s DH, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Jan. 16, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Goetschl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Gerg, Volkl/Lange/Marker
4 Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Paerson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Berthod, Dynastar/Lange/Look
7 Brydon, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Mancuso, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Meissnitzer, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
10 Clark, Fischer/Salomon/Marker
Women’s Downhill, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Jan. 16, 2005. … It is the 21st of the women’s 32 race (plus 1 combined) World Cup schedule. … It is the sixth of eight scheduled DH’s. … It is the final race of a four race speed set at Cortina. … A large margin of victory at .59. … The top four are within a second.
It is the 19th win of Michaela Dorfmeister’s career. … Her third of the season and second in 10 days. … She has won Lake Louise SG 12/5 and Santa Caterina DH 1/6. … It is her first win at Cortina after three podiums having placed third in DH 1/18/03, third in G
S 1/21/01 and third in SG 1/23/99. … She is the third Austrian woman to tally three wins this season after Marlies Schild and Renate Goetschl.
It is the 87th career podium for Goetschl. … Her seven of the season. … Her fourth in four races at Cortina – but the other Cortina races were all wins.
It is the 57th career podium for Hilde Gerg. … Her fifth of the season… fourth in DH this season. … She has not finished worse than sixth in any DH this season.
It is the fifth best career result for Emily Brydon and her best of the season. … It is her third top 10 of the season. … It is the sixth best career result for Julia Mancuso and her second best career DH finish. … It is her fourth best finish of the season and her best DH result this season. … It is the 30th career top 10 finish for Kirsten Clark. … Her second of the season and second in two days. … It is the 11th scoring result of the season for Caroline Lalive and her third top 15 result in the four chances at Cortina. … It is just the second result this season outside the top five for Lindsey Kildow. … She was leading early in the race. …It was the seventh scoring result of the season for Bryna McCarty. … the sixth scoring result of the season for Kelly Vanderbeek. … The U.S. women have scored at least five women in every DH this season. …
Renate Goetschl extends the World Cup overall lead she gained earlier at Cortina to 798-789 over Janica Kostelic (4th). … Dorfmeister moves into third 712 and Anja Paerson (5th) holds fourth, tied with Tanja Poutiainen (did not race) at 706. … Lindsey Kildow is the top American on the overall list in sixth at 638. … Goetschl lengthens the DH lead as well with a total if 435 over Hilde Gerg at 375. … Kildow drops to third at 348. … Caroline Lalive is the next American on the list in ninth at 158. … The Austrian women extend their Nations Cup lead 3801-2173 over the U.S. … Germany is third among women at 1657.