Goetschl Clinches Super-G Title; Ludlow 18th


SESTRIERE, Italy, Mar. 11, 2004 - Unheralded Nadia Styger of Switzerland, who never had been on a World Cup podium, won the women's super G Thursday at World Cup Finals while Austrian Renate Goetschl clinched the super G title. However, she lost valuable ground in her battle for the overall championship. Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) was 18th with Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) 26th.

Styger's winning time was 1:25.53 with German Maria Riesch second at 1:25.85. Ludlow finished in 1:27.08 and Lalive's time was 1:29.02.

Goetschl, who won Wednesday's downhill to clinch the World Cup DH championship, also earned the super G crown but she lost more ground to World Cup overall leader Anja Paerson, who finished sixth, one spot higher than the Austrian. With two races left, Paerson - who has won 10 slaloms and giant slaloms this season - is 78 points ahead of Goetschl.

Several inches of snow overnight affected sections of the men's super G earlier in the day, especially on the flats, but it was sunny with temperatures near 30 when the women started at 12:30 p.m.

"Lalive and I were pretty slow on top and that killed us," Ludlow said. "I don't think it was new snow, though. The track was hard and it had aggressive, grippy ice. The course was easier than we both expected ... We skied well but - maybe if there were style points in ski racing we would've done better."

"I'm not sure what could have happened at the top for Libby but she skied the bottom so well - down where there are the turns and jumps. She had the fastest split on the bottom, so the top really hurt her," said Head Coach Patrick Riml. "And it's good for Caroline to get some time off now. She's been battling through some knee pain all season and she can use time away."

The women run slalom Saturday and GS Sunday. Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Kristina Koznick (Eagan, MN) and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) are scheduled to race SL.