Smart skiing leads Ciccone to impressive Mont-Sainte-Anne NorAm SL victoryMONT-SAINTE-ANNE, QUEBEC U.S. Ski Team veteran Caitlin Ciccone has a sense of entitlement. It doesn’t matter that her coaches, teammates and friends mostly consider her a talented downhill and super G skier; by Ciccone’s estimation, her Thursday victory at Mont-Sainte-Anne’s CIBC Coupe NorAm slalom was nothing short of a foregone conclusion.
‘This doesn’t really feel like a huge breakthrough for me’ said Ciccone. ‘This summer I knew that I was skiing really good slalom, and I knew it was only a matter of time before this [victory] happened.’
Ciccone and a Canadian junior skier, Anna Goodman, destroyed the field in Thursday’s first run; Ciccone, with a time of 45.41, had only three-tenths of a second advantage over Goodman (45.74), but the two were more than a second ahead of the rest of the field.
The track at Mont-Sainte-Anne has been challenging all week, and though Ciccone said she had been expecting this win, it was a lesson that she learned in the bumpy second-run conditions that secured her victory. ‘I always want to come down and win both runs, and I’ve exploded in a lot of second runs after posting fast times in the morning. … Today I learned that, in conditions like this, smarter is better.’
Ciccone went on to describe the difficult task of simultaneously skiing smart and aggressive, ‘Of course I attacked, but I attacked a conservative line on the pitch, and I was cleaner because of it. … When I got down to the flats, I straightened [my line] out and let it rip.’
Ciccone’s tactics paid dividends, as she distanced herself from Goodman and won the race by 1.13 seconds.
U.S. Ski Teamer Katharine Hitchcock added to her collection of NorAm podiums with a third-place result.
Laurel Carter, of Ski Racing International, earned top-American junior honors with a fourth-place finish. Carter’s result was important because she accumulated valuable points toward qualifying for the 2006 World Junior Championships, which will be hosted here in March.
The U.S. took 14 of the top-15 positions on Thursday. ‘We’re supposed to win here’ said Ciccone, ‘There aren’t that many Canadians here with the experience we have. … This is just like another day of training for [our team]; we all go up there and fight to come out on top.’
The CIBC Coupe NorAm series at Mont-Sainte-Anne concludes on Jan. 6.
Women’s CIBC Coupe NorAm slalom
Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec Jan. 5, 2006
1. CICCONE Caitlin 1985 USA 45.41 48.05 1:33.46
2. GOODMAN Anna 1986 CAN 45.74 48.85 1:34.59
3. HITCHCOCK Katharine 1985 USA 46.97 47.85 1:34.82
4. CARTER Laurel 1986 USA 47.05 48.32 1:35.37
5. STAPLES Kiley 1989 USA 47.37 48.04 1:35.41
6. SCRIPTURE Laura 1982 USA 46.44 49.01 1:35.45
7. DUKE Hailey 1985 USA 47.58 47.90 1:35.48
8. MARSHALL Chelsea 1986 USA 46.90 48.84 1:35.74
9. KINGSBURY Jamie 1981 USA 47.04 49.14 1:36.18
10. HAMMOND Courtney 1987 USA 46.67 49.66 1:36.33