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Koznick 8th, Schleper 20th Behind Kostelic In Sestriere Slalom


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Nothing says

Sestriere, Italy, Dec. 12–On a day when the men ran into their ownstorm-related problems in Val d’Isere and saw a World Cup race postponedfor the second day in a row, Croatian teenager Janica Kostelic breweda storm of her own, overwhelming the steeps and then the flats to winher second straight World Cup slalom – this time by more than a second.Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN) was eighth and Sarah Schleper (Vail,CO), continuing her march to a spot in the top 30 in slalom, was 20th.

Kostelic held a half-second lead over Renate Goetschl of Austria afterthe first run and fattened that with a scorching second run to finishwith a total time of 1:39.36. Goetschl fell early in her second run, soAnja Paerson of Sweden – third in the first run – was runnerup in 1:40.48.After seven races with no double-winner, Sestriere marked the third timein the past week a woman has won her second race of the season, followingItalian Isolde Kostner’s SG win Wednesday in Val d’Isere and the GS victoryThursday by Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria.

Koznick, sixth in the first run, had problems in the flats at the bottomof the Sestriere course but held on to eighth in 1:42.50 while Schleper,starting 34th, was 20th in 1:43.77.

U.S. Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj said Koznick, still adjusting to a newski company, elected to go with the traditional longer skis – and paidfor it on the bottom where the sidecut, shorter skis made a big difference.”Koz skied better on the steeps but she couldn’t compete on the flats.She was on 183s 183cm length. It’s becoming apparent – we’ve seen allconditions, all terrain now – that the shorter skis work better on theflats.

“Everyone’s adjusting and a lot of people are going through growing painswith these sidecuts – Pernilla Wiberg was 14th on the top, but didn’teven qualify because she was 50th on the flats. Kostelic really made hertime on the bottom with the shoter skis. They’re quiet, they don’t chatterand you still can arc ’em. So, Koz is in the greatest shape and she’sreally focused, but it’s just taking that time to get used to the newskis,” Cernigoj said. She plans to doing more testing on ski lengths inthe next week or so as she competes in Nor Am races in Canada.

At the same time, he said Schleper – who lost last season to a brokenleg – is following the game plan to make steady progress toward a betterstart spot in slalom. “Schlep skied aggressively and she’s definitelyon track. We want her in the top 25 so she can go to World Cup Finals,too…and she’s doing it,” he said.

Cernigoj said Koznick and Schleper will rejoin World Cup teammate CarolineLalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) for Nor Am races in Canada – two giantslaloms and a pair of SLs – Dec. 16-19 at Mt. Tremblant, Que. Meanwhile,Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) and Kjersti Bjorn-Roli (Anchorage, AK) are bound for St. Moritz, Switzerland, where two DHsand a super G are scheduled Dec. 17-19.

In a related development, Cernigoj said Lalive had won a FIS-level giantslalom earlier Sunday in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

Sestriere, ITA – Dec. 12

Women’s SL

1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:39.36

2. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:40.48

3. Christel Saioni, France, 1:41.44

4. Trine Bakke, Norway, 1:42.00

5. Helene Richard, France, 1:42.08

6. Sabine Egger, Austria, 1:42.17

7. Claudia Riegler, New Zealand, 1:42.37

8. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:42.50

9. Vanessa Vidal, France, 1:42.65

10. Spela Pretnar, Slovenia, 1:42.90

11. Denise Karbon, Italy, 1:43.14

12. Natasa Bokal, Slovenia, 1:43.16

13. Alenka Dovzan, Slovenia, 1:43.17

14. Elisabetta Biavaschi, Italy, 1:43.22

15. Anna Ottosson, Sweden, 1:43.32

16. Laure Peguegnot, France, 1:43.33

17. Barbara Milani, Italy, 1:43.43

18. Karin Koellerer, Austria, 1:43.52

19. Leila Piccard, France, 1:43.73

20. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo.., 1:43.77

21. Urska Hrovat, Slovenia, 1:43.82

22. Monica Bergmann, Germany, 1:44.46

23. (tie) Janette Hargin, Sweden, and Andrine Flemmen, Norway, 1:44.48

25. Zali Steggall, Australia, 1:44.60

26. Nicole Gius, Italy, 1:44.91

27. Lara Magoni, Italy, 1:45.13

–Cafe de Colombia Alpine World Cup

Women’s Overall (10 races)

1. Kostelic, 420 points

2. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 342

3. Isolde Kostner, Italy, 319

4. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 287

5. Regine Cavagnoud, France, 280

6. Hilde Gerg, Germany, 256

7. Paerson, 246

8. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 222

9. Mojca Suhadolc, Slovenia, 221

10. Anita Wachter, Austria, 203

11. Saioni, 196

12. Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 192

13. Silvia Berger, Austria, 191

14. Bakke, 190

15. Ottosson, 164

-31. Koznick, 74

40. Schleper, 54

76. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 12

79. (tie) Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, and Caroline Lalive, Steamboat

Springs, Colo., 8 each

-Slalom (3 races)

1. Kostelic, 250

2. Saioni, 196
3. Bakke, 190

4. Paerson, 154

5. Pretnar, 126

6. Egger, 122

7. Richard, 94

8. Goetschl, 85

9. Vidal, 73

10. Pequegnot, 70

-15. Koznick, 50

20. Schleper, 27

–Nations Cup (Men/Women)

1. Austria – 4,050 points

2. Switzerland – 1,353

3. Italy – 1,299

4. France – 1,206

5. Sweden, 871

6. Norway, 759

7. Slovenia, 651

8. Germany, 581

9. Croatia, 420

10. USA, 340

– Victory Bound! –