December 1, 2006
LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA - (USST News Bureau Release) - Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) continued her mastery over the Lake Louise speed run Friday as she tore through flat light and tricky visibility to finish second in the first women's World Cup downhill of the season while Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) earned her first top-5, finishing fourth. German Maria Riesch - one of Kildow's best friends and running 10th - laid down a time of 1:51.31, and the next racer crashed, creating a lengthy hold as she was taken off the mountain. Kildow, who has won twice at Lake Louise and been third in one other race, ran 30th and ignored the poor light to finish in 1:51.74.
"I don't know what it is," Kildow said when asked how things seem to fall in place for her at Lake Louise, more than two hours' drive west of Calgary. On the other hand, she's raced at Lake Louise for the past five or six seasons, she said, "and I know this hill, in and out...
"I just pointed my skis downhill," she said, while also praising Cook for such a superb result. "She's such a great teammate."
On top of that, she said she's carrying confidence from knowing that her speed skiing is solid. Giant slalom and slalom races in Aspen, CO, last weekend didn't leave a bitter taste, she said, because they were gate-running events and her expectations aren't what she looks for in downhill and super G. Speed is "a whole different game - much more mental," she said. And confidence - based on success, based on experience - is strengthening her mental approach in every race.
Completing the podium was Nadia Fanchini of Italy (1:52.06) with Cook fourth with a time of 1:52.17. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), who was to have been the next skier on course after the crash - and then was held at the start, finished 15th in 1:53.07.
"Lindsey was just outstanding," Head Coach Patrick Riml said, "coming from that far back (30th start) after that light changed so dramatically with the injury...and the long wait. But she was charging; she's really just about the number one downhiller. She's skiing so well she can do that on any mountain...and Stacey, getting that first top-5, was super. She was prepared well and she put down a good one, too."
He cited Clark's experience for not being rattled when the race was delayed when she got into the gate because Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby had crashed. "The sun went away and the clouds rolled in and the light went flat...but Kirsten handled it so well."
The women have two more speed races at Lake Louise, a second downhill Saturday and a super G Sunday. Live timing is available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday and WCSN.com will carry streaming video later in the day.
U.S. women then will have at least a couple of days off, Kildow said, before decisions midweek involving upcoming races scheduled for Val d'Isere, France, which scrubbed its men's races earlier this week because of poor snow.
For complete results, click here.