January 31, 2007
ARE, SWEDEN - (USST News Bureau Release) - Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) has two titles to defend while Olympic giant slalom champion Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) and Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) will look to continue their white-hot racing as the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships open Saturday.
The first races are the men's super G Saturday and the women's super G Sunday. U.S. fans will be able to follow World Championships coverage live beginning Saturday. NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com will team up for live coverage of every race during the World Championships.
Miller, the reigning SG and downhill gold medalist from the 2005 Worlds, also leads the current World Cup super G standings after back-to-back victories in December in Val Gardena, Italy, and Hinterstoder, Austria. He also has two downhill wins and stands fourth overall, fifth in DH and sixth in giant slalom.
At the same time, both Mancuso and Kildow have won World Cup super Gs and have three victories apiece this season. Mancuso stands third overall in the women's points, second in downhill points, fourth in both SG and GS while Kildow is fifth overall, second in super G, third in downhill.
The Worlds schedule:
> Saturday, Feb. 3 - Men's super G
> Sunday, Feb. 4 - Women's super G
> Thursday, Feb. 8 - Men's super combined (downhill, 1 run of slalom)
> Friday, Feb. 9 - Women's super combined
> Saturday, Feb. 10 - Men's DH
> Sunday, Feb. 11 - Women's DH
> Tuesday, Feb. 13 - Women's giant slalom
> Wednesday, Feb. 14 - Men's giant slalom
> Friday, Feb. 16 - Women's SL
> Saturday, Feb. 17 - Men's SL
> Sunday, Feb. 18 - Team event (two men, two women, one run each of DH and slalom)
"That course should be all right for us," Men's Head Coach Phil McNichol said. "We haven't raced on it a lot, but it's got plenty of terrain and will be a solid challenge if the weather and snow surface are good. And they got a good dump of snow recently, so we're hopeful...
"We've got guys ready to go in the speed events - Bode and Steven Nyman (Provo, UT) clearly are skiing well in speed, and we've got some others who have been stepping up and are ready for a real breakthrough. Anything's possible."
Women's Head Coach Patrick Riml echoed his colleague's optimistic outlook heading to the championships.
"We've got at least two girls challenging in all the events - Julia and Lindsey are confident, they've gotten some rest after this past weekend in San Sicario (where Kildow won and had second- and fourth-place finishes and Mancuso was fifth in downhill and eighth in the SGs) and they're ready. They'll both be challenging in downhill and super G and super combi, Julia's the Olympic GS champion and Lindsey will be strong in slalom.
"Resi (Stiegler - Jackson Hole, WY) is rested after a week at home, and we've got some others coming. I think we're ready," Riml said. "And, even better, so do the girls."