CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy Jan. 19, 2007 (USSA Release)—Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) tore down a tricky super G course Friday and survived two mid-race errors after rain-caused delays to win her third World Cup race - in a third discipline - in a month. Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) tied for fourth as five U.S. women cracked the top 30.
WCSN.com will broadcast same-day video streaming each of the three days of scheduled racing in Cortina at 2 p.m. ET.
Mancuso, who won a super combined event Sunday in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, and a downhill Dec. 19 in Val d'Isere, France, was timed in 1:16.25. Nicole Hosp of Austria was second at 1:16.58 with Austrian Renate Goetschl, who has won six times in Cortina, third (1:16.59). Kildow and another Austrian, Andrea Fischbacher, tied for fourth at 1:16.64.
In addition, Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), was 20th, Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 28th and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 29th. Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN), continuing to gather speed experience beyond her gate-running skills, was 33rd.
Mancuso confident - in equipment, in her skills"Everything fit together perfectly," said Mancuso, who moved from fifth to third in the overall World Cup points (with Kildow in fifth place). "I felt confident, but mostly it was just being able to have confidence in my equipment when I left the start gate. I had that extra confidence to push the line, know I could handle any line...
"I was very surprised and excited with my skiing. It's been going very consistently. Everything's going great," she said.
She figured the race wasn't going to happen, so she and the others went back to the hotel and watched "The Big Lebowski" - and then she bowled over the opposition when the call came at 1:30 for a 2 p.m. start. "We've talked about delays and how the girls have to be ready when they say 'Go!'...and they stayed in the game, did a good job of being ready," said DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser.
The rains and mild temperatures created an unknown factor as organizers poured stabilizing ingredients on the course. "It's very warm and they used chemicals to harden it," Mancuso said, "and we thought if it cleared up it would be okay, but it turns out it was very soft. I definitely felt the whole way down my edges were digging in, but I had no problems. It was like Spring Series with the soft snow."
"My coaches, and especially my (waxing) technician, Andrea Vianello, have my equipment all figured out, so I'm psyched that no matter what the conditions are I can go out of the start and ski well," Mancuso said. [pagebreak]
Coach: "I thought she blew the race..."
Cortina is one of the toughest women's speed courses on the World Cup, but she wasn't rattled. "I was looking for my tuck a lot of the way down," she laughed, "but I kept saying, 'I can't do it here...Nope, not here...more turns, not here...' I think, in general, I just kept it rolling; if you keep it rolling here, there's always more hill..."
"Julia was absolutely perfect on the top but in the middle, just before she came onto the flats at the bottom," the coach said, "she had a couple of pretty good mistakes. One mistake affected a couple of gates and I thought she blew the race there, but she kept it together and held the lead all the way down.
"The bottom wasn't perfect, but she didn't let go," Hoedlmoser said. "And Lindsey skied the middle and the bottom really well, but she lost a lot at the top, so we have to analyze that because she didn't feel like she'd lost any time. Maybe she had a little wind up top, but otherwise she skied so well.
The race, the first of three days of competition in Cortina, was staged after heavy rains overnight forced organizers to delay the start three times - from 10:30 a.m. CET to noon, then to 1 p.m. and finally underway at 2 p.m. A month ago, as the women started three days of racing, Mancuso won the first day, a downhill, with Kilddow third; the next day, another DH, Kildow won with Mancuso runnerup.
"They're calling for cold tonight, and if that happens," Hoedlmoser said, "this will be hard snow for the downhill tomorrow because there's so much water in the snow. It didn't start raining until morning, but then it poured. It's like a natural injection."
Saturday, the women race downhill and complete their traditional stop at the 1956 Olympic town with a giant slalom Sunday. The World Championships Team is expected to be announced early next week; the championships are Feb. 3-18 in Are, Sweden, [pagebreak]
ALPINE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA - Jan. 19, 2007
Women's Super G
1. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:16.25
2. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 1:16.58
3. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:16.59
4. (tie) Lindsey Kildow, Vail, CO, and Andrea Fischbacher, Austria, 1:16.64 each
20. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, ME, 1:17.76
28. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, WA, 1:18.39
29. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:18.51
33. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN, 1:18.86
41. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:19.42
Caitlin Ciccone, Bethlehem, NH