ARE, Sweden (March 5) - Swedish favorite Anja Paerson, the last racer on course, overtook Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) to win the downhill Wednesday at World Cup Finals by three-tenths of a second.
Paerson turned-in a time of 1:24.60 over the 2.2K length of the course with Kildow, running 24th in the 27-skier field - and nailing the bottom of the run, timed in 1:24.90 as she chased her fourth win of the season.
While Paerson, who faces surgery next week on both knees, has a mathematical chance to catch Janica Kostelic of Croatia as the Swede tries for her third straight overall title, Kildow said she wanted to clinch second in the DH points race behind Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, the Olympic champion who did not race Wednesday. Kildow also said she feels she has a shot at the overall in the next couple of seasons - if she can pickup her giant slalom skiing.
Kildow adds overall to her goals list
"I had my best slalom results last weekend (fourth and sixth in two SLs in Levi, Finland) and I know I can be right there with them (Kostelic, Paerson). I just need more consistency," the smiling Kildow said. She stands second in downhill, fourth in super G and eighth in SL.
"I can improve my GS and I definitely want to go for the overall," she added. "Janica and Anja are too strong in all four (disciplines) now, but I feel I can get there."
Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) was 14th with Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) 20th and Stacey Cook (Truckee, CA) 26th.
"It was an awesome race, especially nice for Lindsey," said women's DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. "Paerson did a good job in both training runs, too, and she knows this hill so well; she trains here, all the Swedes do, and she just skied really good."
Clark skied well through the upper section, he said, but lost time at the bottom when she dropped her aerodynamic tuck on two jumps. "She just opened up, especially on that last jump...but this can be a great course for Kirsten next year at Worlds."
New speed course for the women
The women raced on a different course than the men, who skied first; the two courses feed into a common finish area over the final few hundred meters. "It's a totally new course; the top is naturally challenging because it's narrow and then there's a huge drop from the top, a chute where you pickup speed - maybe 125 (kph, about 75 mph), and some traverses and in the middle there are meadows and it's wide open before it gets technical," he said.
"Near the bottom, there are three jumps before you get to the bottom of the men's course - they built one where you go 35-40 meters in the air, and the next is a little one, not too high, so you only go maybe 20-25 meters and before you come into the finish section you have one more that can launch a racer 40 or 50 meters. It's pretty spectacular...and it'll be a good World Championships course," Hoedlmoser said.
The women race super G Thursday with Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) joining Kildow, Mancuso and Clark in the starting lineup.
For finish line video of Kildow:http://www.totaldisruption.com/total.php
WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
World Cup Finals
Are, SWE - March 15, 2006
1. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:24.60
2. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:24.90
3. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 1:24.96
4. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 1:24.98
5. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, 1:25.13
14. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:25.76
20. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:26.19
26. Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif., 1:26.55
For complete results:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=17080