Vonn maintains overall lead on Riesch with 19th in Cortina GS
January 24, 2010 —
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO - Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) continued to lead the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup after finishing 19th in giant slalom Sunday, the final chance for U.S. women to earn a ticket to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Teammate Megan McJames (Park City, UT) was also in the points in 21st, while Finland's Tanja Poutiainen claimed victory as first run leader Kathrin Zettel failed to finish.
Only Vonn, sponsored by Vail Resorts, and McJames made it to finals for the U.S. Ski Team, with McJames fighting her way in from bib 46. It was her second time in the points in a GS this season. Vail's Sarah Schleper failed to finish the first run.
"She laid down a pretty decent run, and then backed it up with very smart skiing on the second run," U.S. Women's Head Coach Jim Tracy said of McJames.
Vonn, one day after getting her 30th career victory and sixth straight downhill win dating back to last season's World Cup Finals now carries a 56 point overall lead into three connective speed races set for next weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
"Her first run was a little bit on the conservative side, but she really attacked the second run and skied quite well," said U.S. Women's Head Coach Jim Tracy
Tracy said course conditions were hampered by hardier, icier conditions at the bottom of the course, leaving skiers in a conundrum: Use the correct skis needed for man-made snow and risk sliding out later on the ice, or go with razor-sharp skis and struggle with the early portion of the race.
"We thought, after seeing five or six racers, it's very hard to recover with a tactical mistake on that ice," Tracy said. "We were prepared for it."
The U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team will be named Monday, with coaches likely making the tough decisions into the wee hours of the morning.
"It's going to be a long night for me," Tracy said.
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP
Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy - Jan. 24, 2010
Women's Giant Slalom
1. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 2:26.51
2. Viktoria Rebensburg, Germany, 2:27.56
3. Kathrin Hoelzl, Germany, 2:27.96
4. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 2:28.27
5. Manuela Moelgg, Italy, 2:28.36
19. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 2:29.73
21. Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 2:30.84
DNQ - Leanne Smith, Conway, NH; Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA
DNF 1 - Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA; Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO
Ligety 10th in Kitzbuehel combined
KITZBUEHEL, Austria (Jan. 24) - Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) took 10th in Sunday's combined after a tough second run landed him 23rd in slalom. Kitzbuehel is the only World Cup to use the traditional combined format of one run of downhill (taken from Saturday) and two runs of slalom.,
Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) made a strong statement with 27th in his second World Cup start as the deadline for the U.S. Olympic Team selection awaits tomorrow. Croatia's Ivica Kostelic won the combined title and Germany's Felix Neureuther got the slalom win, marking the first time a father and son have shared victory in Kitzbuehel. Neureuther's dad, Christian, won six slaloms in his World Cup career, the last coming at Kitzbuehel in 1979.
The Ganslern course was a tough test Sunday, but the 20-year-old Kasper was up to the task despite arriving late Saturday night after a pair of Europa Cup races in Bansko, Bulgaria..
"The guy's just been stepping up," Rearick said. "To qualify for a second run in his second World Cup is fantastic, especially on this hill at Kitzbuehel, one of the most challenging hills with all the terrain."
Kasper called his first run "a little rugged," but a couple of errors sent him off track and forced him to hike to make a gate in the second run, as fans applauded the effort.
"I've been skiing pretty well, and I knew that if I had the right situation I could do it," Kasper said. "This is my second World Cup ever, so it's really cool to make a second run, especially at this stage with this many people here."
Ligety now moves ahead to the night slalom in Schladming, Austria Tuesday, then Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, next weekend, where two GS races and a slalom are on tap. He has won the GS there the last two years. The additional race this year is a makeup race from Adelboden, Switzerland.
"It's very important to me, especially in slalom, to kind of get that confidence building, which allows you to kind of push a little bit harder on those runs. I want to have that going into the Olympics," Ligety said after his first slalom run.
After taking ninth in Saturday's downhill, Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) did not start in the first run because of his nagging ankle. Miller was sore after Saturday's race and decided it was still sore after warmups in the morning, opting instead to get ready for the slalom in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday.
Fans can watch this weekend's races live or on-demand at UniversalSports.com.
Olympic team selections are expected to be announced Monday.
"It's going to be an interesting day, an interesting evening," Rearick said. "We've got a lot of stuff on our plate right now. We've gotta go meet with the staff, and we're going to put together a great team. We have a great team, it's just selecting the guys that have the best chance to medal in 2010."
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP
Kitzbuehel, Austria - Jan. 24, 2010
1. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 3:33.64
2. Silvan Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 3:35.86
3. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 3:36.05
4. Julien Lizeroux, France, 3:36.07
5. Natko Zrncic-Dim, Croatia, 3:37.93
10. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 3:40.95
DNS 1 - Bode Miller, Franconia, NH
1. Felix Neureuther, Germany, 1:37.35
2. Julien Lizeroux, France, 1:37.74
3. Giuliano Razzoli, Italy, 1:38.34
4. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:38.45
5. Michael Janyk, Canada, 1:38.60
23. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 1:43.79
27. Nolan Kasper, Warren, VT, 1:55.71
DNS - Bode Miller, Franconia, NH
DNF 1 – Jimmy Cochran, Keene, NH; Will Brandenburg, Dakota Dunes, SD; Tim Kelley, Starksboro, VT
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