Mancuso, Cook ski into top-20
American Lindsey Vonn skied to a fourth-place finish Saturday while teammates Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley and Stacey Cook of Truckee placed 16th and 20th, respectively, in the first women’s World Cup downhill in Aspen in 20 years.
Postponed a day because of heavy snow, the Audi Aspen Winternational race eventually was halted after 37 racers because of fog on the course.
Canadian Britt Janyk won with a time of 1:14.17. Mancuso finished in 1:15.63 and Cook in 1:15.81.
“We had very challenging conditions, and I’m really pleased with Lindsey, for sure, but the way all of our girls raced,” U.S. Head Coach Patrick Riml said. “They stuck their nose in there and skied well.”
More than a foot of snow Friday forced the 24-hour push-back in the downhill ” the first in the fabled ski community since March 5, 1988. Overall, Aspen was walloped by nearly three feet of snow from Thursday night until predawn Saturday. Because of the snow, organizers dropped the scheduled start to what normally would be a super G start for the 2.6K run.
Austrian Marlies Schild was second in 1:14.59. Austrian Renate Goetschl, who was second to Vonn a week ago at Lake Louise in the first DH of the season, took third (1:14.63), five-hundredth of a second up on Vonn (1:14.68). American Resi Stiegler of Jackson Hole, Wyo., was 24th in 1:16.35.
According to World Cup Tour Manager Atle Skaardal, the competition jury has the responsibility of determining if a race should continue and if the results should be official. The jury made the call to stop based on fog and low visibility, but that the results should be official. Two skiers crashed during the race. Skaardal reviewed the TV tapes and determined they were well outside the standard race line.
Although Vonn had led the two downhill training runs during the week, it was a different course she faced on Saturday.
“The Aspen workers did an awesome job in working on the course to make it happen, but it was really tough,” she said. “There was just so much snow. I had a pretty bumpy ride because there was a lot of deep snow off to the side. It was just a totally different course than what we trained.”
The women are scheduled for a slalom Sunday. The U.S. Ski Team will have five starters ” Vonn, Mancuso, Stiegler, Kaylin Richardson (Edina, Maine) and Hailey Duke (Boise, Idaho).
After the slalom the women return to Europe, where they are scheduled for a downhill and super G on Dec. 15-16 in St. Moritz, Switzerland ” two races which were moved from Val d’Isere, France.