ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — Defending Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and a surging Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA, pictured right) finished 7-8 in the St. Moritz giant slalom as the second run was delayed an hour due to high winds. Tessa Worley of France took the come-from-behind victory, just .01 over Tanja Poutianen of Finland when German favorites Kathrin Hoelzl and Viktoria Rebensburg faltered in the second run.
Universal Sports hosts on-demand streaming of Sunday’s race and will also carry same-day coverage on their 24-hour TV network featuring a live Skype interview with Vonn.
“The snow conditions were perfect, it was a little windy for a while there and they delayed it and then we kept going,” said Vonn, who gained back a few more points toward the overall lead as German Maria Riesch finished 19th. “It was nice to get a race in that was more like my training. The first run I felt like I was a little bit too relaxed. I skied conservatively and too round, but the second run I skied much more aggressively and was really happy with it.”
Vonn produced the fourth fastest second run to hurdle nine places after opening the day in 16th, while Mancuso, who was sixth after an impressive first run, dropped two slots to eighth after getting hung up in the grippy snow lower on the pitch.
Mancuso wasn’t the only racer to have trouble in the second run as Hoelzl, the defending World Cup GS champion, hit a rut and skied over her pole to go out while Vancouver GS gold medalist Rebensburg fell off line into the soft snow on multiple occasions to drop to 10th after leading the first run.
“I made a mistake because I wasn’t respecting the conditions,” said Mancuso, who was on the World Cup podium last weekend in the Lake Louise super G. “I still don’t know what happened I just got stuck and a little back and lost a lot time.”
“At the bottom of the pitch there was a little turny section coming into a delay and Jules just got kind of high sided in the delay,” said U.S. Ski Team technical Head Coach Trevor Wagner. “It was weird, but she’s really happy with the way she’s skiing right now, her equipment is figured out and things are coming around.”
Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) barely missed making the final, despite controlled skiing to finish 32nd in the opening run.
“Sarah is such a solid skier that sometimes it doesn’t work to her advantage,” added women’s Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “She’s right where she needs to be on her skis and is so clean, but sometimes you can’t attack and be clean at the same time. To make it in today, you had to attack.”
Vonn and Mancuso now roll to Val d’Isere, France for a series of three speed races opening with super G on Dec. 17, replacing the wind scrapped race from Saturday in St. Moritz. Val d’Isere will also feature a downhill and the season’s first super combined.
Schleper and the women’s tech team will regroup at the official women’s U.S. Ski Team European training base in Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria for a week of training before a pre-holiday slalom on Dec. 21 in Courchevel, France.
Audi FIS Alpine World Cup
St. Moritz, Switzerland
December 12, 2010
1. Tessa Worley, France, 2:10.70
2. Tanja Poutianen, Finland, 2:10.71-
3. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 2:11.01
4. Anemone Marmottan, France, 2:11.22
5. Marie-Michele Gagnon, Canada, 2:11.49
7. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 2:11.77
8. Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA, 2:11.88
Did not qualify for 2nd run: Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Megan McJames (Park City, UT), Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Laurenne Ross (Klamath Falls, WA)
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/