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Kildow wants America's first super G title

Kildow wants America’s first super G title{mosimage}CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Lindsey Kildow already leads the World Cup downhill standings. Now she’s making a bid for the super giant slalom title as well. Returning to the site of her first top-three finish, Kildow placed fourth in Wednesday’s super-G and moved within five points of taking the standings lead in her discipline. Germany’s Michael Dorfmeister came in fifth and now leads the super-G standings with 215 points. Kildow is second with 210.

“Not too bad. It’s cool,” Kildow said. “I want to be consistent. It’s good that even though I make mistakes I’m still in fourth place, which is really encouraging. Especially for the next super-G race here. I know where I can clean up my mistakes and be a smarter racer.”

Another super-G is scheduled for the Olympia delle Tofane course Friday, with downhills Saturday and Sunday. “I’d like to get the super-G lead and hang on to the downhill,” Kildow said.

No American man or woman has won the super-G title. Picabo Street won the downhill title in 1994-95 and 1995-96.

“I’m actually feeling almost more confident in super-G, just because I know the type of turns I can make,” Kildow said. “Short radius turns, really dynamic turns that I never really felt like I could make before. Downhill I think I’m always going to be confident, but not in the same way.”

“Super-G is more of a (technical) event,” she added. “I think I’m technically a strong skier. I can make really strong turns in downhill and super-G and I think that’s where I make up ground on some of the other big guns.”

Last season, Kildow finished third in a downhill at this site, her best result at that point. This season, with one win and four top-three finishes, the 20-year-old American is viewed as one of the top young stars on the circuit.

So is Germany’s Maria Riesch, another 20-year-old skier and Kildow’s best friend on the tour. Riesch was injured in a nasty fall midway through her run Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season. She lost control and slammed backward into protective fencing, hitting her head.

After laying still for several minutes, she got up and skied down the slope crying. She was diagnosed at the hospital with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

Kildow said Riesch spent 10 days at her house last summer.

“I kind of showed her the U.S. a little bit, took her to some amusement parks, showed her some cheese dogs,” Kildow said. “It’s good to have someone that’s your age who is pretty much in the same position as far as ranking.”

Kildow, whose Minnesota family has not been able to watch her this season, appreciated Riesch’s company.

“It’s nice just to have someone,” she said. “It’s not easy being in Europe. It gets lonely sometimes.”

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