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Snowbasin, UT, Mar. 15, 2001–Continuing a string of solid performances, PicaboStreet (Park City, UT) won a Chevy Truck Super Series Finals downhill by over ahalf-second among a world-class field Thursday at Snowbasin.
The first of two downhills on the Wildflower course, which will be the site ofthe 2002 Olympic speed events for the women, was originally scheduled forFriday. Organizers moved the race up a day as the forecast was calling for snowFriday. Prior to Thursday’s start, a training session was run, a makeup fromWednesday’s session that was postponed due to high winds.
Street picked up the win with a time of 1:41.57 over world downhill championMichaela Dorfmeister of Austria, who finished in 1:42.08. Hilde Gerg of Germanywas third with a time of 1:42.21.
“I feel good,” said Street, the ’98 Olympic super G gold medalist. “What I’m looking for is the feeling on my skis. That’sall I’ve been working on all year and that’s all I keep working on. What it’s starting to do now is make me move fast.”
Despite winning the race by .51 over Dorfmeister, Street remained skeptical of her time after crossing the finish linefrom the fifth start spot.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Street. “You know, I didn’t have a fall this run and I felt myself slow down in a couple ofspots, so my time isn’t hard to beat. We’ll see how it stands up.”
Looking at her Nor Am results this season, it was a pretty good bet that the time would stand as the fastest. Streetswept four Nor Am speed races at Whistler, British Columbia earlier this month, including a super G win by over asecond and a half. Prior to Whistler, she had won a pair of NorAm downhills and another super G.
It has been a promising comeback season for Street as she sat out the previous two years rehabbing post-Olympic leginjuries.
“Just to be skiing well on this hill and not having troubles, it brings me a lot of confidence,” said Street. “The feeling Ihave on the snow and on the run is good enough to bring me into next year with confidence.”
The U.S. Ski Team had two other athletes finish in the top-10 with Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) in eighth and JonnaMendes (Heavenly, CA) in tenth. Both Megan Gerety (Anchorage, AK) and Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) crashedin the morning’s training run and did not start the race.
“It’s a great hill,” said Clark, who won a World Cup downhill in Switzerland at the end of February. “I mean, there’s a lotof different things in there. Coming out of the start, you have that side-hill traverse, then some technical turns afterthe jump (Shooting Star) and then some high-speed turns in the middle section. There’s always something coming atyou, you never have time to really back off at all.”
Many among the superstar field came to Utah directly from World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden. France’s Regine Cavagnoudfinished fourth after clinching the super G title in Are and collecting the gold medal in super G at World Championshipsin St. Anton, Austria. Italian Isolde Kostner, who finished 28th Thursday, claimed the World Cup downhill title in Are.
Canadian Anna Prchal, who has already claimed the overall Super Series title (and $10,000) after collecting fourpodiums last week at Snowbird, Utah, did not start the race Thursday. She finished 50th in the training run.
As of press time, the second downhill of the Super Series Finals is scheduled for a 9:15 a.m. MST start Friday. A super Gwill wrap up the Super Series Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
The Chevy Truck Super Series is the top domestic development race series in the U.S., so young skiers will be mixedwith the World Cup troupe. After Snowbasin, the racing action shifts north to Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships,starting March 23 at Big Mountain, Mont.
Chevy Truck Super Series Finals — Snowbasin, Utah
March 15, 2001
Women’s Downhill (Abridged Race Results)
1. Picabo Street, Park City, Utah, 1:41.57
2. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:42.08
3. Hildee Gerg, Germany, 1:42.21
4. Regine Cavagnoud, France, 1:42.50
5. Melanie Turgeon, Canada, 1:42.81
6. Carole Montillet, France, 1:42.94
7. Merete Fjeldavlie, Norway, 1:43.28
8. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:43.44
9. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:43.45
10. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:43.50