SANTA CATERINA, Italy Jan. 6, 2005 - Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) continued her breakout season Thursday, posting her fourth podium of the season to take over the World Cup downhill points lead as she led four U.S. women into the top 25 on what will be the World Championships downhill course in another month.
In the first of two downhills relocated from weather-whipped Val d'Isere, France, Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister won in 1:41.66 with Kildow timed in 1:42.06. Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 10th, Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) 12th and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) 19th. In addition, Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) finished 22nd.
"It was good. I definitely made a couple of mistakes, but it was good," Kildow said. "I was a little nervous before the race because we hadn't run downhill in a while and then we only had the one training run. I've never had just one run, always at least two, and it was strange because this is a new course for us."
She put too much pressure on a ski as she came out of the technical section in mid-race and it almost cost her, she said. "I pressured too hard and got high-sided pitched up and my skis were heading toward the fence instead of the next gate, so I lost a lot time there.
"I'm glad I finished, though. I don't know if I would have a year ago," she added, a reference to her growing confidence. "I'm always a little nervous but I'm trusting myself more."
"Lindsey skied a very strong race and actually she made a big mistake at the bottom, at the end of the technical section and the top of the final flat part, so she didn't carry her speed into the bottom section," said DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. "We could see in the late-summer Chile camp she was skiing so much better; we knew it was coming and her confidence was building...
"Caroline really ripped through the technical section and we're very pleased with Kirsten; this was her best downhill result of the season and another big step forward for her" in returning after surgery on both knees and for a broken wrist following a crash last January.
"This is a long downhill - a minute and 41, 42 - and the light was flat. For the girls at the back, it was pretty dark, which made Julia's result, starting 42nd, a very good showing. She skied very well."
Kildow's previous top-3s included victory in a Lake Louise downhill, second in a super G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and third in the Lake Louise SG. She stands sixth in the World Cup points, with four other American women in the top 20.
With the tricky visibility, Stacey Cook (Truckee, CA) crashed and was taken to a local hospital for observation.
The women run another downhill Friday and then face a giant slalom Saturday and slalom Sunday. The weekend races were relocated to Santa Caterina from Berchtesgaden, Germany, because of poor snow in the Bavarian resort town. The World Championships begin Jan. 29 in Bormio with women's races in Santa Caterina; the women's DH is set for Feb. 6 (with downhill Jan. 30).
WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Santa Caterina, ITA - Jan. 6, 2005
1. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:41.66
2. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:42.06
3. Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:42.19
4. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:42.32
5. Carole Montillet-Carles, France, 1:42.42
10. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:43.15
12. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:43.36
19. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:44.06
22. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:44.49
45. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 1:45.81
Did not finish:
Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif.; Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
For complete results:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=AL&raceid=35004