Back from a quick stateside holiday, and after nearly a month without a Giant Slalom competition, the women’s U.S. Ski Team led by Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso are set to reignite the competition in Lienz, Austria. Lindsey is fresh from a visit to David Letterman, making a stellar guest appearance on last Thursday’s show. Julia kept it low key with family back in Tahoe to celebrate the holidays. Now both back in the Western Hemisphere, it’s the last women’s GS competition for 2011 and a key opportunity for the U.S. Team to finish out the year as strong as they started the season.
After a snowed out Courchevel earlier this month, its surprising to realize the last GS race was held on November 26th at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational! Its going to be interesting to see how the competition stacks up. Consistency is always the goal in ski racing, and with a month long gap it really could be anyone’s game.
While it has been anything but a white Christmas in the Carinthia region the course terrain is totally bullet proof and ready to rip. After drawing number one last night, Lindsey Vonn reached super sonic speeds right out of the gate on her first run, but came in 8th due to a few minor mistakes took her back .62 behind the leading World Cup GS Champion Vicky Rebensburg. Julia Mancuso killed it thanks to some post holiday training in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and came in 5th for her first run, just .17 behind the leader.
With the top 10 racers only separated by .81 its going to be a wild round two!