World Cup Alpine racing: Julia Mancuso keeps it going, lands on podium | SierraSun.com

World Cup Alpine racing: Julia Mancuso keeps it going, lands on podium

U.S. Ski Team

Jean-Christophe Bott/AP PhotoJulia Mancuso of Olympic Valley races to a third-place finish in a women's super G race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on Sunday.

CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland and#8212; Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn and dual silver medalist Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley left their mark on Switzerland, going 2-3 in an Audi FIS World Cup super G on Sunday.

Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin won the race, marking the third World Cup win of her career, while Truckee’s Stacey Cook was 31st.

The women racing in Switzerland had to face off against random gusts of strong wind that plagued the race in the Swiss Alps. According to Women’s Alpine Head Coach Jim Tracy, had it not been for the conditions Vonn could have shaved even more time off her run.

and#8220;It was a really good course for her. Unfortunately Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating and it was really gusty and irregular winds (Sunday),and#8221; Tracy said. and#8220;She started off really well and got hit on the lower section with quite a large gust of wind. That was enough to slow her down, and that happened to a lot of people.and#8221;

With the finish, however, Vonn now has a 245-point lead over Austria’s Maria Riesch in the race for the World Cup overall title with only the four events of World Cup Finals left. Vonn won a downhill Saturday to clinch the downhill title, and had already clinched the Audi FIS World Cup super G title before the Olympics.

The day marked the first time Mancuso has appeared on the podium of a World Cup in two years. According to her, it’s good to have the momentum from the Olympics to carry her through the season.

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and#8220;It was nice. I’ve been skiing well since the Olympics, so it’s nice to go and do it in the World Cup, especially in super G. I’m just psyched to be able to put everything together in one run,and#8221; Mancuso said.

Tracy couldn’t have been happier to see Mancuso finish so strongly.

and#8220;This was great. I think it was a great result for her. It was so great to see her podium. It’s a great way to end the regular World Cup season,and#8221; Tracy said.

Now, with the team heading to Garmisch for World Cup finals March 9-14, Mancuso is hoping to seal up a few more podiums before the season’s end.

and#8220;Skiing is going well and I think the snow conditions in Garmisch will be good for me too, it’s a little more spring-like,and#8221; Mancuso said. and#8220;I’m looking to finish the season with podiums. I just want to go out there and ski, and I’m feeling really good about my skiing so it makes a big difference just standing in the start gate and enjoying the whole process of it.and#8221;

For Tracy, the approach of World Cup Finals is exciting during a season with great successes for his team.

and#8220;We’ve had quite a bit of success this year and it’s so great to see the effort that the staff and athletes put in. We’re just going to keep moving on, keep trying to improve and get everyone to move up,and#8221; Tracy said.

Fans can catch the action in Garmisch live on UniversalSports.com beginning with men’s and women’s downhill on March 10.

The women qualifying for the U.S. at World Cup Finals will be Vonn, Mancuso, Truckee’s Stacey Cook, Alice McKennis and Sarah Schleper. Both Vonn and Mancuso can race all disciplines, Cook and McKennis will race downhill and Schleper will compete in the giant slalom and slalom.

2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP

Crans Montana, Switzerland – March 7, 2010

Women’s Super G

1. Dominique Gisin, Switzerland, 1:24.14

2. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:24.29

3. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:24.52

4. Nadia Styger, Switzerland, 1:24.56

5. Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 1:24.74

31. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain/Truckee, CA, 1:26.12

32. Leanne Smith, Conway, NH, 1:26.20

33. Laurenne Ross, Klamath Falls, OR, 1:26.24

37. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, VT, 1:26.61