Gut fastest in first training run on Raptor


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Lara Gut celebrates at the base (credit: Susan Theis)

Last April’s training camp did not prove to be a huge advantage for the American girls in the first downhill training day at Beaver Creek. Results for the members of the U.S. speed team were something short of their best, with Leanne Smith leading the charge in 17th. Stacey Cook wasn’t far behind in 21st, followed by Laurenne Ross in 30th.

The U.S. B-Team got a couple solid results from the back of the pack: Jacqueline Wiles made the jump up to 31st from a start position of 58, and Julia Ford finished 40th starting from 60th.

Lara Gut, carrying momentum from her win in Soelden, was the clear winner at the inaugural running of Raptor, besting runner-up Anna Fenninger of Austria by almost half a second. Tina Weirather rounded out the top three, 0.58 second back.

“I prefer to start here than in Lake Louise,” said Gut after the run. “For me, it’s tough to start in Lake Louise because it’s always so flat. (Beaver Creek) is something like Altenmarkt because it’s turny and it’s like the slope; it’s not just the course-setting. It’s also something (like) Val d’Isere from the World Championship, but this is even more complete.”

For Anna Fenninger, not knowing the course didn’t seem to be much of a problem, but it definitely changed her approach, she said, spending more time and effort memorizing key sections.

“It was good for first run,” said Fenninger. “It was difficult (not knowing the course). If a course is new, you’re a little nervous. I was today a little nervous. It’s not easy to know every turn the first time, but we have three training runs and I think that’s enough. … It’s one of the hardest in our women’s World Cup.”

Smith, the top American, was happy with her run, saying she hit the line and it’s nice to know where she’s stacking up. The Granite Stater is not planning on making any major tactical changes, but certainly that’s something she will talk about with coaches, she said.

“I think there are things that I did well and things I need to clean up,” said Smith. “Of course, it feels a little different compared to our previous training runs. In April, we were just checking things out. But I’ll tell you, it was nice to know how some of those sections are going to run — to know that on Peregrine pitch, you’re going to have to give it a lot of width and be up on the blue line and be tight on the entrance of that gate.”

Julia Mancuso, who did not train on hill with her teammates in the spring, finished 48th, but said the advantage to running the course in advance is more of a psychological leg up than anything else.

“(The course) kind of has everything. It’s fast, like a lot of the switches are quick and there’s a lot of technical turns and intimidating sections,” said Mancuso. “(The set) is actually really good. It seems really controlled when you’re up there, but the way the snow conditions are and the way it’s set with the hill is really manageable. You can go pretty fast. … There are a couple really strong, big left-footers that kind of weave between the trees because there’s not a lot of distance going in and you’re kind of making a 90 degree turn.”

Mancuso said the Beaver Creek track, compared to Lake Louise where the ladies typically get their speed season rolling, is a nice “jumpstart” into the winter.

Race Director for Speed Events Markus Mayr, who is filling in for an ill Jan Tischhauser setting the course this week, said it’s a challenge to set a course on a completely new hill: “There were a couple of things last year that forced us to have really good speed control. There were no A-nets on. The safety installations were not World Cup ready. Out of these tests, we saw that the hill was very challenging, very steep pitches. It’s going to be speed control this year as well, but with a little more flow.”

Mayr said the goal is to achieve the 2015 World Championship set this week, but adjustments could be made with feedback from athletes and coaches.

Results — Downhill Training Day 1

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  15  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI  1:43.42
 2  9  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT  1:43.90
 3  12  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:44.00
 4  23  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:44.19
 4  6  55766 STERZ Regina 1985 AUT  1:44.19
 6  55  106849 YURKIW Larisa 1988 CAN  1:44.27
 7  48  55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole 1989 AUT  1:44.38
 8  14  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  1:44.43
 9  7  196460 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie 1985 FRA  1:44.47
 10  49  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA  1:44.53
 11  2  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT  1:44.55
 12  4  515573 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi 1981 SUI  1:44.60
 13  3  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO  1:44.74
 14  10  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  1:44.83
 15  22  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth 1991 NOR  1:44.84
 16  35  56125 PUCHNER Mirjam 1992 AUT  1:44.96
 17  44  297134 BORSOTTI Camilla 1988 ITA  1:45.06
 17  17  538305 SMITH Leanne 1987 USA  1:45.06
 19  36  56128 HUETTER Cornelia 1992 AUT  1:45.10
 20  64  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:45.12
 21  13  537582 COOK Stacey 1984 USA  1:45.14
 22  60  197006 GAUTHIER Marine 1990 FRA  1:45.22
 22  28  515766 SUTER Fabienne 1985 SUI  1:45.22
 24  16  515806 JNGLIN-KAMER Nadja 1986 SUI  1:45.33
 25  26  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT  1:45.38
 26  24  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI  1:45.44
 27  41  55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT  1:45.45
 28  31  196928 WORLEY Tessa 1989 FRA  1:45.47
 29  54  206367 HRONEK Veronique 1991 GER  1:45.65
 30  19  538573 ROSS Laurenne 1988 USA  1:45.66
 31  58  539536 WILES Jacqueline 1992 USA  1:45.70
 32  37  56088 TIPPLER Tamara 1991 AUT  1:45.74
 33  5  296472 FANCHINI Elena 1985 ITA  1:45.93
 34  18  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina 1981 SPA  1:46.05
 35  27  515782 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne 1986 SUI  1:46.27
 35  20  55913 MOSER Stefanie 1988 AUT  1:46.27
 37  43  197295 PIOT Jennifer 1992 FRA  1:46.36
 37  40  155563 KRIZOVA Klara 1989 CZE  1:46.36
 39  57  196968 BAILET Margot 1990 FRA  1:46.51
 40  62  538855 FORD Julia 1990 USA  1:46.62
 41  42  56177 VENIER Stephanie 1993 AUT  1:46.65
 42  8  296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela 1981 ITA  1:46.67
 43  39  516219 NUFER Priska 1992 SUI  1:46.74
 44  45  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  1:46.87
 45  59  55818 KOEHLE Stefanie 1986 AUT  1:46.91
 46  32  298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA  1:46.94
 47  52  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  1:46.95
 48  11  537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA  1:47.06
 49  69  375018 COLETTI Alexandra 1983 MON  1:47.24
 50  66  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  1:47.30
 51  47  206460 WENIG Michaela 1992 GER  1:47.32
 52  61  505886 KLING Kajsa 1988 SWE  1:47.51
 53  68  485632 BEDAREVA Maria 1992 RUS  1:47.60
 54  56  485631 YAKOVISHINA Elena 1992 RUS  1:47.66
 54  50  298084 AGERER Lisa Magdalena 1991 ITA  1:47.66
 56  25  296431 STUFFER Verena 1984 ITA  1:47.74
 57  71  485748 GOLENKOVA Valentina 1994 RUS  1:47.77
 58  29  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA  1:47.78
 58  21  296427 SCHNARF Johanna 1984 ITA  1:47.78
 60  46  245066 MIKLOS Edit 1988 HUN  1:47.81
 61  53  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT  1:47.90
 62  34  516185 HAEHLEN Joana 1992 SUI  1:47.92
 63  38  565333 BRODNIK Vanja 1989 SLO  1:48.92
 64  67  539457 MARNO Anna 1992 USA  1:49.01
 65  63  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  1:49.04
 66  65  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  1:49.23
 67  76  45331 SMALL Greta 1995 AUS  1:49.37
 68  33  515849 DETTLING Andrea 1987 SUI  1:49.43
 69  73  107312 ROTH Julia 1993 CAN  1:50.56
 70  72  435245 CHRAPEK Karolina 1990 POL  1:50.59
 71  75  35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena 1984 ARG  1:52.00
 72  51  197497 MIRADOLI Romane 1994 FRA  2:08.89

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