Dorfmeister Wins DH; Ends Goetschl's Streak

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CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy Jan. 16, 2005 (AP by Andrew Dampf)--Michaela Dorfmeister won a World Cup downhill Sunday, denying Austrian teammate Renate Goetschl a fourth consecutive victory on the course.

Goetschl finished second, good enough to overtake Croatia's Janica Kostelic for the lead in the overall World Cup standings.

``It's tough to compete against Renate, she's in such great form,'' Dorfmeister said after her 19th career victory. ``But today 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.''

Dorfmeister was timed in 1 minute, 36.62 seconds on the Olympia delle Tofane course, 0.59 ahead of Goetschl. Germany's Hilde Gerg was third, 0.78 behind.

Kostelic was fourth and defending overall champion Anja Paerson of Sweden fifth for her best downhill result since she began competing in the event last season.

Lindsey Kildow of the United States, the top challenger to Goetschl in the week's previous three races, made a big error on the top part of the course and finished 18th for her worst downhill result this season. The top two Americans were Julia Mancuso in eighth place and Kirsten Clark in 10th.

This was Dorfmeister's third victory this season following a downhill win in Santa Caterina last week and a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Dec. 5. It was her first win in Cortina.

``Cortina is the classic race of the women's circuit, like Kitzbuehel for the men,'' said Dorfmeister, who shed tears of joy when she stepped on the podium.

Goetschl, a former overall winner, leads the standings with 798 points, followed by Kostelic (789) and Dorfmeister (712), who moved up from sixth. Paerson and Finland's Tanja Poutiainen, who does not compete in downhill, are tied for fourth at 706.

``I'm pleased to be leading, but I think everything will change with the technical disciplines coming up,'' Goetschl said, referring to slalom and giant slalom races scheduled for Kostelic's hometown of Zagreb and Maribor the next two weeks.

Goetschl, who won super giant slalom races Wednesday and Friday and Saturday's downhill, also leads the downhill standings.

Her eight victories in Cortina match Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark's eight wins at Madonna Di Campiglio for most at one resort.

``It was a fantastic week that I will never forget,'' Goetschl said.

Sunday's race was the last downhill before the Jan. 29-Feb. 13 world championships in Bormio _ and Santa Caterina for the women.

``I'll try to take this form to Santa Caterina,'' Dorfmeister said. ``But Santa Caterina is a different course and the world championships are always different.''

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press