Cortina: Paerson wins super G, Mancuso, Kildow reach podium


Cortina: Paerson wins super G, Mancuso, Kildow reach podiumCORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Kildow finished second and third in a snowy super G at Cortina on Friday, marking the fourth time this season that two Americans have finished on a World Cup podium together.

Sweden’s Anja Paerson won the race, finishing in 1 minute, 16.75 seconds, showing that she is still a contender for the overall World Cup title. Mancuso and Kildow were 0.34 and 0.78 seconds back.

Paerson collected her sixth win of the season, in her fourth discipline (she’s missing only combined). Kirsten Clark was 12th with Libby Ludlow 15th.

Overall leader Janica Kostelic finished fourth, 1.02 seconds out.

It is Mancuso’s first podium in a World Cup. ‘Every podium is exciting whether it’s a [World Cup] podium or a FIS race or national championships’ said Mancuso. ‘I feel a little more confident by having a podium on the World Cup.’

‘We had no sunshine but it was brightly snowing, so it wasn’t too bad’ said Mancuso, who grew 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.

The previous two-American podiums this year were at the Beaver Creek downhill (Daron Rahlves, Bode Miller) the Beaver Creek men’s giant slalom (Miller, Rahlves) and the Val d’Isere downhill (Kildow, Caroline Lalive).

As was the case at World Championships last season in Bormio, Mancuso was grilled by Italian reporters about her last name. ‘Italy will always be a part of me, but I’m a Californian’ she said, when asked if she might consider getting an Italian passport and join the Italian team. ‘I’ve got a little bit of Italian in my heart.’

Kildow was second in the Cortina super G last year, and has been on the podium four times here. This is also the site of her first-ever podium, in 2004. ‘World Cup races are important’ she said. ‘You have to have other goals besides the Olympics, because the Olympics are only one race.’

U.S. head coach Patrick Riml said, ‘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.”

Cortina is considered the Kitzbuehel of the women’s World Cup tour – the most challenging course with some of the greatest prestige and tradition.

The start of the race was delayed until 1 p.m. because organizers had trouble removing snow from the course. Snow continued to fall throughout the competition. A number of skiers took hard crashes into the fencing, including Canadian Kelly Vanderbeek and Austrian Elizabeth Goergl.

Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, who still leads the World Cup super G standings 446 to 396 over Alexandra Meissnitzer, finished 10th. Dorfmeister, who had a seriously bad scare last week in St. Moritz, is second in the overall standings with 970 points, behind Janica Kostelic’s 1,208.

The double podium was good news for the American team, which had lost Caroline Lalive to a knee injury sustained in a carnage-filled first training run on Tuesday.

Emily Brydon of Canada, racing 12th, caught her arm on the final gate and was whipped around sideways, bruising her elbow and hip, according to a Canadian coach.
 
The last two super G races on the women’s tour were Bad Kleinkirchheim on Jan. 15 and St. Moritz on Jan. 20.

Armstrong chimes in
Debbie Armstrong, the 1984 giant slalom Olympic gold medalist, was present at Cortina, having been invited to participate in the ceremonies surrounding the Olympic Torch Relay.
 
She introduced herself to the American podium finishers – both of whom were born the year Armstrong won gold at Sarajevo.
 
‘At the finish I went up like any other fan would. I introduced myself, because I hadn’t met the girls before’ said Armstrong, now a ski ambassador at Taos, N.M. ‘They knew my name, they knew who I was. We took pictures. I congratulated them.’
 
Armstrong said the Americans were clearly experiencing ‘tunnel vision’ – an appropriate and promising singlemindedness about the Olympics.
 
‘Bode [Miller]‘s in a different situation, and maybe Daron [Rahlves] a little bit’ said Armstrong. ‘But for these girls, or for [Ted] Ligety, to be going into the Olympics with a couple podiums under their belt, they have all of the confidence in the world.’
 
Coaches’ slip crucial
Atle Skaardal, the FIS race director for the women’s World Cup, thanked the nations’ coaches during the Friday night team captains’ meeting for having slipped the course on the morning of the race.
 
‘The bad news is we will probably have more of the same tonight’ said Skaardal. ‘The goal is to have the race from the top, but we have two options for lower starts.’

Torch passes through town
The Olympic torch passed through town the night before the race, and there was a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Games, which took place here.

The torch relay began on Dec. 8 in Rome and will tour Italy for 64 days, visiting 140 cities. In all, there will be 10,001 torchbearers, who will carry the flame to Torino, where it will arrive on Feb. 10.

At those 1956 Games, Toni Sailer of Austria won all three events for the men. Madeline Berthod of Switzerland won the women’s downhill, her countrywoman Renee Colliard won the slalom and Ossi Reichert of Germany won the GS.

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.

Women’s super G
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Jan. 27. 2006

1. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:16.75
2. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:17.09
3. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:17.53
4. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:17.77
5. Petra Haltmayr, GER 1:17.84
6. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:18.02
7. Alexandra Meissnitzer, AUT 1:18.03
8. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:18.08
9. Tina Maze, SLO 1:18.09
10. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:18.19
10. Sylvia Berger, USA 1:18.19
12. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:18.23
13. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:18.27
14. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:18.34
15. Libby Ludlow, USA 1:18.40
16. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 1:18.42
17. Martina Ertl-Renz, GER 1:18.69
18. Martina Schild, SUI 1:18.73
19. Chimene Alcott, GBR 1:18.99
20. Daniela Ceccarelli, ITA 1:19.00
21. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:19.03
22. Karen Putzer, ITA 1:19.13
23. Sherry Lawrence, CAN 1:19.16
24. Kathrin Wilhelm, AUT 1:19.20
25. Angelika Gruener, ITA 1:19.29
26. Wendy Siorpaes, ITA 1:19.32
27. Ingrid Rumpfhuber, AUT 1:19.46
27. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:19.46
29. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, SWE 1:19.48
30. Daniela Merighetti, ITA 1:19.56
Other North Americans:
32. Stacey Cook, USA 1:19.61
38. Emily Brydon, CAN 1:20.04
45. Jonna Mendes, USA 1:20.70
47. Bryna McCarty, USA 1:20.90
49. Shona Rubens, CAN 1:21.65
DNS: Kristina Koznick
, USA.
DNF: Kelly Vanderbeek, Genevieve Simard, CAN.
DSQ: Allison Forsyth, CAN.

THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

Equipment
Women’s SG, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Jan. 27, 2006

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1. Paerson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2. Mancuso, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3. Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4. Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5. Haltmayr, Fischer/Lange/Atomic
6. Montillet-Carles, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7. Meissnitzer, Volkl/Fischer/Marker
8. Goetschl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9. Maze, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10. Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10. Berger, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Women’s super G, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. … It is the 22nd event of the women’s 34 race, two combined World Cup schedule. … It is the sixth of eighth scheduled SG’s, the final before the Olympics. … It is the 18th World Cup SG at Cortina, the seventh in the last three seasons. … It is the 66th World Cup on the site. … It is the first of a three-race set including a DH Jan. 28 and a GS Jan 29. The two remaining women’s SG’s are in Scandinavia, at Hafjell-Kvitfjell, Norway, March 3 and during World Cup Finals at Are, Sweden, March 16.

It is the 31st career World Cup victory for Anja Paerson. … The win ties her with Erik Hess for sixth on the all-time win list among women. … She is second to all-time win leader Ingemar Stenmark among Swedish skiers. … It is her second SG win, the first at San Sicario Feb. 25, 2005.

It is the first career podium for Julia Mancuso. … Her best previous a quartet of fourth-places finishes, two in GS and two in DH. … Her best previous SG result is fifth at Altenmarkt Dec. 11, 2004. … Her best result this season had been fourth DH Lake Louise, Dec. 2. … Best previous this season in SG, seventh Val d’Isere Dec. 18. … It is her 13th scoring result at Cortina.

It is the 11th career podium for Lindsey Kildow. … Her fourth in SG. … Her fourth of the season, first in SG. … It is her seventh scoring result at Cortina, all but one of them top-five placings. … She and Mancuso score the 19th and 20th podium of the season for the U.S. team. … It is the fourth time this season Americans have tallied two podiums in a World Cup race.

It is the 44th career top-12 placing for Kirsten Clark. … Her sixth of the season. … It is her fifth – and weakest – SG score of the season. … It is her 19th scoring result at Cortina. … Fifteenth matches Libby Ludlow’s sixth-best career World Cup result. … fourth-best of the season. … All six of her scoring finishes this season have come in SG. … It is the sixth scoring result of Sherry Lawrence’s career. … Fifth of the season. … First in SG.

The last time the Austrian women missed putting a skier on the podium of a World Cup SG was Dec. 21, 2004, at St. Moritz. Kildow was also on that podium (second).
Janica Kostelic (fourth in race) maintains the lead in the World Cup overall standings 1208-970 over Michaela Dorfmeister (10th in race). … It is the first SG this season in which Dorfmeister has not finished on the podium. … Paerson is third at 901. … Kildow is the top American in overall standings in fifth at 654. … Dorfmiester maintains the lead in the SG standings 446-396 over Alexandra Meissnitzer (7th in race). … Nadia Styger (14th in race) is third at 260. … Kildow in the top American in sixth at 186. … Winning margin is .34 of a second. … Top three are within a second of the win. … Top 18 within two seconds.

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