January 26, 2007
SAN SICARIO, ITALY - (News Release) - Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) finished second Friday in a World Cup super G, avenging a downhill training crash sustained on the Olympic speed course last February that hospitalized her overnight. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) finished eighth and saw her U.S.-record string of top-3 results ended at five.
World Cup super G leader Renate Goetschl of Austria took her fifth win of the season - and the 43rd of her career - in 1:24.90; she complained earlier in the week after the course being too easy. Kildow's time was 1:24.99 and Mancuso was eighth in 1:26.26. Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) was 26th and Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) 27th on the Fraiteve Olympique 2.3K course.
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Kildow, who raced next after Goetschl in the 25-degree sunshine, had the fastest time into the midsection but lost three-tenths and a shot at what would have been her fourth win of the season as the race was a pick up from Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria.
"I'm really happy with this one. It's sort of a revenge for me," Kildow said, referring to her downhill training crash almost a year ago at the Olympics. One of the pre-Games favorites in DH, she spent the night in the hospital, but came back to race and finished eighth. She later won the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, an honor voted on by American fans, fellow Team USA athletes, U.S. alumni Olympians and members of the media for best representing the Olympic Spirit. This month, she crashed in Zauchensee and again last week in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, so this also was a needed pick-me-up.
"The last couple of weeks have been hard, so this was really good for my confidence going into Worlds (Feb. 3-18 in Are, Sweden)...and, yeah, with two more (speed) races here this weekend, it's given me some good confidence. The more you race on a hill, the more you get to know it," she said.
She and DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser were at a loss to pinpoint where she lost the lead. "It's really hard to find a tenth here or there. Lindsey skied the top really, really well and coming through a jump at the top she may have closed the door a little too much, gone a little too straight...maybe...but there are so many turns where you can lose a tenth, or win a tenth," he said.
"This was good, proving to myself I can be fast on this hill," she said. "I know I could last year but with my crash, I didn't get to show it. Maybe this is my time...
"I thought I skied pretty well the whole way. It was a fine line. You don't want to over-ski it," she said. "I'll have to look closely at the video to see where I lost that time, to see what was going on."
She agrees with Goetschl that the course, which had manmade bumps and terrain changes installed for the Olympics - and then softened after the Games moved on, isn't the hardest on the women's tour, but it does have nice flow.
"I think it flows a lot better. They didn't put any artificial terrain in there like they did for the Olympics, so it's more safe. In general, it's a pretty easy hill, and I think the super G course is really fun. It has these nice rolls and in the sun today, it was perfect - now that we finally have winter. The snow was awesome," Kildow said.
Mancuso "totally cool" with streak ending
With two in the top 10 and four in the top 30, everyone in the top 35, Hoedlmoser said the U.S. women skied well. "If this is a technical hill (steeps, tighter turns, not so much gliding), like Zauchensee or Cortina, Julia can win those races, but she needs rockets on this hill. If she has a perfect run, she has a chance to be on the podium.
"But she told me she's totally cool (with the top-3 streak ending). She said, 'You can't win 'em all' or be on the podium all the time," he said. "Julia's realistic. She had a good run and she knows it...
"Kayylin and Stacey had good runs, too. 'Clarky' didn't ski the top so good but she was the only one to make time on the bottom...and Libby said she felt it was a good run. With the flats, though, it's hard to pickup speed once you lose it."
The women run a downhill Saturday and another super G Sunday before heading to the World Championships. All six U.S. women will be racing in Are.
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=AL&event_id=21936.