Lalive in Top-5 Again

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CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy, Jan. 14, 2004 - Caroline Lalive, continuing to rebound from ligament damage and leg injuries late last season, was fourth Wednesday in a World Cup super G. Canadian Genevieve Simard was the surprise winner with Lalive leading two Americans into the top 10 - Julia Mancuso tied for 10th - and two others into top-25 performances as the women started a four-races-in-five-days schedule in Cortina.

Simard, whose best previous result had been third in a giant slalom in Berchtesgaden, Germany, two years ago - and who was sixth Sunday in a SG in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, was timed in 1:13.05. Germany's Maria Riesch was second (1:13.70).

Lalive, who had a horrendous crash March 1 in a downhill outside Innsbruck, finished in 1:13.90 with Mancuso's time 1:14.42. It was the second top-5 in less than a week for Lalive in a speed event; she was fifth Saturday in a downhill in Veysonnaz.

"It felt great," Lalive said. "The course was on the fast side. I've been trying to approach racing lately with the thought of focusing on the skiing and just the technical things I want to work on, and then the results will follow. I keep reminding myself of that.

"I've always done well in Cortina, got my first World Cup points in super G here and I had three top-10s last year. I like this place."

She said the course in near-perfect shape. "Cortina always does an incredible job in making it buffed. The course was in awesome shape; the snow was aggressive but it was hard, too."

The week's schedule is busy, she said, "but we're all trying to stay energized and get some rest. The one day off after Veysonnaz was a travel day, so it really wasn't an off day, but we're all working on being positive, getting some rest."

In addition, in a race rescheduled because of poor weather before Christmas in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Kirsten Clark finished 16th with Libby Ludlow, finally healthy after an ankle injury on the eve of the season.

"I'm smiling a little bit, especially for Caroline" U.S. Head Coach Patrick Riml said. "She said the other day she wanted to keep skiing like she's been doing in training, keeping it simple and staying relaxed. She gave it her all today and it was great. Good for her!"

"Julia had a good race after a good training. She really stepped it up, and so did Libby...another great job as she keeps improving in this comeback from October. And Clarky made some little mistakes, especially at the bottom - nothing big, nothing she won't correct and she should be fine this weekend."

The schedule calls for a second training run (after Tuesday's session) Thursday with another super G Friday and downhills on both weekend days.