High winds and heavy overnight snowfall across the slopes of Lenzerheide, Switzerland forced officials to cancel Thursday’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Final super G event. Julia Mancuso of the U.S. Women’s Ski Team was in contention for the title, but without a final event, the title will go to Slovenia’s Tina Maze.
“Super G has been really fun,” said Mancuso. “We’ve had a lot of weather so we’re used to days like today. It’s definitely unfortunate not to get to battle it out to the last race, but I’m really happy with how I’m skiing and looking forward to next year.”
Mancuso has enjoyed a phenomenal season in the discipline, securing four podiums and finishing within the top six at every super G event. The Squaw Valley skier will end the 2012/2013 season just 55 points shy of Tina Maze.
Lindsey Vonn, who was forced to end her season early due to injury, still finished in fourth in the super G overall. Prior to her season ending crash, Vonn had won two super G events earlier in the tour.
Fellow Americans Leanne Smith finished out the season in 12th, Laurenne Ross in 13th and Stacey Cook in 34th.
“Alex Hoedlmoser, Women’s U.S. Ski Team Head Coach spoke after the race, saying, “We had a fantastic season on the super G side. It’s unfortunate that the race had to get canceled, but the conditions on top were just not good enough. There was a lot of wind blowing and the wind was blowing the snow across the track and you couldn’t really see anything. It would have been too dangerous on a very challenging hill like that. So it was actually a right decision to do that. A little unfortunate for us, but that’s how things work.”
While it’s extremely disappointing to see a title decided by event cancelation (especially for one as hotly contested as this season’s super G), athlete safety always takes precedent over glory! Obviously, races at the World Cup Finals cannot be rescheduled, and so we’ll have to take solace in the fact that this was an amazing season for the U.S. Women — with more to come in Fall 2013!
Alpine action at The World Cup Finals continues on Saturday with a women’s slalom event. Mikaela Shiffrin is on deck, with her sights set on her first career World Cup title. The young skier had been in first place prior to the last event in Oftershwang, Germany, but was usurped by this year’s runaway victor Tina Maze. With a minuscule 8 points separating them, it’s going to be a battle to the finish on March 16th…weather permitted.