March 3, 2007
TARVISIO, ITALY - (USST News Bureau Release) - Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) moved into second place in the women's World Cup overall points Saturday - nine points off the lead - by nailing the bottom of the hill to win a downhill in tricky snow conditions for her fourth victory of the season. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) was eighth and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 15th as each clinched a place in World Cup Finals.
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Mancuso's win - the most by a U.S. woman since Picabo Street won six races (all DHs) in the 1995 season - came in 1:52.67 with Renate Goetschl of Austria second (1:52.84). Goetschl clinched the World Cup downhill championship with her performance and Mancuso is second with one DH left. Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO), who won two DHs this winter before being sidelined with a knee injury, will finish in third place.
With seven races remaining in the season, Austrian Marlies Schild, the World Cup slalom champion who was seventh Saturday, has 1,148 points to 1,139 for Mancuso with Nicole Hosp third (1,103) and Goetschl fourth (1,099).
Clark's time was 1:53.25 and Cook finished in 1:53.90 as they confirmed downhill rankings inside the top 25, the cutoff for World Cup Finals March 14-18 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Mancuso tries to not-think of overall
As journalists asked about closing in on the overall points lead, Mancuso - who took off for five days to rest before this final attack - said, as she's said before, "I'm really trying not to think of it. You guys make me think of it.
"For me, it's more important that I focus on tomorrow's race, not the overall...and if I keep doing well, the points will keep growing. But I try not to think of it."
The Olympic giant slalom champion has likened accumulating World Cup points to accumulating frequent flyer miles: "The more you do (fly), the more you get...but I don't think about them."
Mancuso, who was second Friday in a super combined, said the bottom of the course may have made her run look more dramatic than it was. "It was bumpy and there was flat light, but - for me - it can't be fast enough now. I love the speed; it's so much fun to go fast down these hills," Mancuso said.
Clark was pleased with her top-10. "I've been fast in the training runs and knew I could do it. I was feeling confident and I was charging. It was tough because of the spring conditions, which made it hard - you've gotta be over your skis. It's nice I'll be going to Lenzerheide; that's a special place for me," she said, an obvious reference to her World Cup DH victory there in 2001.
"It was an unbelievable show today from Julia...just incredible what she did. She didn't have the best light - it was flat light for just about everyone, but she really wanted it," Head Coach Patrick Riml said.
"She was a little behind but she kept going faster and skied so well on the bottom. It was 100 percent commitment," Riml said. "She just stuck her nose in there and charged...
"And 'Clarky' and Stacey did well, too. They'll be going to World Cup Finals in two weeks, which is good. They've worked hard this season and this is a nice payback for them."
The women have a super G Sunday and then go to Zwiesel, Germany, for a giant slalom and slalom before World Cup Finals begin March 14 in Lenzerheide.
For complete results: www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=21983&cal_suchsector=AL.