Lake Louise, Alberta, Dec. 1, 2000--Isolde Kostner of Italy took advantage of new sunshine Friday and - as expected - collected the World Cupdownhill win at Lake Louise. The U.S. Ski Team landed two skiers in the top-10 for the second day in a row as Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA)finished sixth and Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) tied for ninth.
"Another great day, this time from Clark and Mendes. It looks like we had even faster skis than Thursday," said women's Head CoachMarjan Cernigoj. "The girls were skiing very well, from top to bottom. It's another great result for Team USA." Waxing skis for Clark andMendes is Ales Sopotnik.
Kostner, who won here a year ago and who led all three training runs before finishing second Thursday in the first downhill of the season- only .1 behind surprise winner Petra Haltmayer of Germany, finished in 1:33.76. Second went to Carole Montillet of France in 1:34.24;seven of the first 10 racers started outside the No. 20 start spot, which was about where the sunshine arrived, chasing fog and flat lightat Lake Louise Ski Area.
Mendes, who nailed the first World Cup top-10 of her young career Thursday, started 29th and was sixth in 1:34.66. Clark, who was thefirst skier on-course, earned the second top-10 of her career as she deadlocked Slovenian Mojca Suhadolc in ninth place at 1:34.95. MeganGerety (Anchorage, AK) was disqualified for irregularities with her ski boots and Alison Powers (Winter Park, CO) skied out.
The early racers competed in flat light, which got worse momentarily as a fog bank rolled over the top of the course for skiers 10-11-12.When the sunshine finally hit, Kostner - skiing 22nd - and the others mauled the 2.7-km course on Whitehorn Mountain.
Mendes is at a loss to explain her talent for skiing fast at Lake Louise. After conceding, "I have no idea," she had high praise for theChateau Lake Louise, where the team stays, for its comfort which keeps her relaxed, and for the English-speaking atmosphere, whichfurther helps reduce stress.
"It's so homey here," Mendes said. "I think having raced here so much, and having had success, I just feel more confident."
After three top-10 training results, she sputtered a bit in the opening downhill, but she was aggressive Friday when the sun came out.
"I'm all about when you can see. Flat light doesn't suit me very well," Mendes went on. "I don't know who it suits, but it makes meuncomfortable...
"I feel like I'm making a big leap in my skiing. Thursday it was flat light and I still did well, so it was definitely a boost to myconfidence."
Clark Overcomes Disappointment
Clark said she disappointed to have drawn to No. 1 bib, but she knew the course would be clean, so she focused on skiing as aggressivelyas she could. She had one so-so section in the flat light, but otherwise pretty much skied the way she wanted.
"The course has been slipped-out great and I knew it would be super-smooth, so I knew I just had to attack," she said. "My line's beenright on; I just had to clean-up my shoulders being level and not tipping-in on key turns where you lose a little bit of ground...
The women finish their North American swing Saturday with a super-G and return to Europe for another super-G Wednesday. That's whereOlympic SG champion Picabo Street (Park City, UT), out for two years after a March 1998 crash, expects to make her return to World Cupracing.
For complete results, please visit the official FIS site.
CAFE de COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Lake Louise, ALB - Dec. 1
1. Isolde Kostner, Italy, 1:33.76
2. Carole Montillet, France, 1:34.24
3. Corinne Rey Bellet, Switzerland, 1:34.40
4. Regine Cavagnoud, France, 1:34.47
5. Bibiana Perez, Italy, 1:34.59
6. (tie) Jonna Mendes,Heavenly, Calif., and Mojca Suhadolc, Slovenia, 1:34.66 each
8. Tanja Schneider, Austria, 1:34.79
9. (tie) Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, and Spela Bracun, Slovenia, 1:34.95 each
11. Melanie Turgeon, Canada, 1:34.97
12. Sylviane Berthod, Switzerland, 1:35.08
13. Emily Brydon, Canada, 1:35.13
14. Trude Gimle, Norway, 1:35.14
15. Brigitte Obermoser, Austria, 1:35.20
16. Selina Heregger, Austria, 1:35.33
17. Martina Ertl, Germany, 1:35.34
18. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:35.42
19. Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 1:35.50
20. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:35.52
21. Melanie Suchet, France, 1:35.64
22. (tie) Petra Haltmayer, Germany, and Fujiko Sekino, France, 1:35.67 each
24. Veronika Thanner, Austria, 1:35.70
25. Olesja Alieva, Russia, 1:35.72
26. Daniela Ceccarelli, Italy, 1:35.81
27. Catherine Borghi, Switzerland, 1:35.86
28. Ingeborg Helen Marken, Norway, 1:35.89
29. Karin Blaser, Austria, 1:35.91
30. Silvia Berger, Austria, 1:36.08
DNF: Alison Powers, Winter Park, Colo.
Disqualified: Megan Gerety, Anchorage, Alaska
Cafe de Colombia World Cup Women's Overall (7 races)
1. Ertl, 360
2. Cavagnoud, 244
3. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 239
4. Kostner, 206
5. Dorfmeister, 204
6. Obermoser, 192
7. (tie) Rey Bellet and Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 166 each
9. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 165
10. Montillet, 141
11. Christel Saioni, France, 135
12. Goetschl, 134
13. Haltmayer, 131
14. Andrine Flemmen, Norway, 109
15. Suhadolc, 106
17. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 100
20. Mendes, 86
32. Clark, 52
38. Gerety, 40
51. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 22
67. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 12
Women's Downhill (2 races)
1. Kostner, 180
2. Haltmayer, 109
3. Cavagnoud, 100
4. Montillet, 96
5. Goetschl, 73
6. Rey Bellet, 72
7. Suhadolc, 69
8. Perez, 67
9. Mendes, 66
10. Obermoser, 61
11. Turgeon, 60
12. Berthod, 54
13. Clark, 47
14. Schneider, 46
15. Gerety, 40