Bormio, Italy, Mar. 18--Brigitte Obermoser of Austria held onto a slimfirst-run lead to win the final World Cup giant slalom of the season inBormio. Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN) was the only U.S. finisher in20th. Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria was second, and took the season GStitle.
Obermoser won in 2:42.79 - a margin of .24 over Dorfmeister, withLiechenstein's Birgit Heeb third.
Koznick was 17th after the first run but had trouble putting it togetheron the second run. "It's really disappointing to end the season in GSthis way," she said. "Tomorrow, I'll have no problem (in the slalom),but I really wanted it today."
Despite being hard on herself for the finish, Koznick went from anon-factor in GS a year ago to a consistent finisher. She moved into thetop 30 in the world during the season and finished the year ranked 29thin the World Cup GS standings - despite not getting finish points in thefinale (only the top 15 score).
American Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) went out hard in the first run whenshe hooked her left arm on a gate on a tight turn.
"It's disappointing because Sarah can really ski good GS but she wasn'tin sync today," said U.S. GS coach Georg Capaul. "But I'm excited abouttomorrow - Sarah's skiing super, super slalom right now!" Schleper wasthe top American in the final GS standings, coming in at 25th.
Saturday's GS will be shown Sun., Mar. 19 on the Outdoor Life Network at8 p.m. EST.
Both Koznick and Schleper will start in Sunday's slalom finale. Theslalom finale is not scheduled on TV, but will be shown LIVE on theInternet courtesy of worldskireport.com. You can find the coveragethrough the U.S. Ski Team's web site at www.usskiteam.com.
World Cup Finals
Women's Giant Slalom
1. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT, 2:42.79
2. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT, 2:43.03
3. Birgit Heeb, LIE, 2:43.55
4. Martina Ertl, GER, 2:43.60
5. Anita Wachter, AUT, 2:43.67
6. Karen Putzer, ITA, 2:43.93
7. Sonja Nef, SUI, 2:43.95
8. Maria Rienda Contreras, SPA, 2:43.96
9. Christiane Mitterwallner, AUT, 2:44.06
10. Andrine Flemmen, NOR, 2:44.07
20. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, MN, 2:45.74Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, did not finish 1st run.
Final Women's World Cup Giant Slalom Standings
1. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT, 684
2. Sonja Nef, SUI, 602
3. Anita Wachter, AUT, 470
4. Anna Ottosson, SWE, 402
5. Allison Forsyth, CAN, 373
6. Karen Putzer, ITA, 371
7. Birgit Heeb, LIE, 340
8. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT, 313
9. Christine Mitterwallner, AUT, 271
10. Renate Goetschl, AUT, 266
25. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 83
29. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, MN, 75
38. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, CO, 56