SANTA CATERINA, Italy Jan. 7, 2005 (USSA) - World Cup downhill leader Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) led four American women into the top 15 of a downhill Friday, finishing fourth on a long, testing speed run. On what will be the downhill course for the World alpine Ski Championships in another month, Ingrid Jacquemod of France earned her first World Cup win.
Jacquemod won in 1:40.29 and Renate Goetschl of Austria finished second on a long, tiring course characterized with flat light and a technical lower section before the turns and steep stop and the women hit a mostly flat section to the finish.
Kildow, who was second Thursday in the first of two DHs moved from snowy and windy Val d'Isere, France, finished fourth in 1:40.73. Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) had her second top-10 in 24 hours as she finished eighth with Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) 12th and Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) in 13th place. Bryna McCarty (Concord, VT) made it five Americans in the points, finishing 29th.
"The girls keep going in the right direction. I'm very pleased with what they're doing - four in the top 15 today, four in the top 20 (Thursday)...it's a good situation," said Head Coach Patrick Riml. "And everybody's excited, fired-up about this being the downhill for Worlds."
Kildow made a small mistake on the upper section, he said, "or she'd have been on the podium again, I'm sure. She's feeling confident on this hill...and Caroline another top 10, so good for her. I'm very happy with Kirsten getting better every race" after knee and wrist surgery following a crash a year ago. "And Julia, running first today, was right in there, too...
"This is a tough hill. It's the same for everybody, of course, but it's tough - there's a little sun and then it's flat light and totally dark."
Kildow, who won the opening DH of the season at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, has 275 downhill points to 265 for Germany's Hilde Gerg, who was fifth Friday, with Goetschl third (255). After 15 races, she stands sixth overall with four others - Mancuso and Lalive plus Kristina Koznick (Eagan, MN) and Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) - in the top 20 overall.
In a related development, Riml said he expected Stacey Cook (Truckee, CA) to be released from a local hospital. She was held for observation after a crash Thursday in the first downhill, suffering a concussion and leg injury. She will return home for rest and further medical examination. In addition, Riml said veteran Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) was returning home Friday for examination of leg problems.
Friday was the second of four days of World Cup racing on what will be the World Championships venues for women. The two DHs were relocated after winds and heavy snow buried them in Val d'Isere and organizers accepted a giant slalom and slalom on the weekend from Berchtesgaten, Germany, which has poor snow conditions. The women run GS Saturday and SL Sunday before heading to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, for two super Gs and two more downhills.
WOMEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Santa Caterina, ITA - Jan. 7, 2005
(Moved from Val d'Isere, FRA)
1. Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 1:40.29
2. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:40.40
3. Carole Montillet-Carles, France, 1:40.41
4. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:40.73
5. Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:40.81
8. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:40.94
12. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:41.19
13. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 1:41.26
29. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 1:43.03
35. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:43.55
For complete results: