Alpine ski racing | Mancuso fifth, Cook sixth in World Championships downhill
SCHLADMING, Austria – The USA narrowly missed the medals in Sunday’s FIS Alpine Ski World Championships women’s downhill, as Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley was a .15 out of the prizes in fifth place while Truckee native Stacey Cook was sixth.
France’s Marion Rolland took the surprise gold.
In an aggressive race that featured higher speeds than training, the twisty, turny Schladming S turn midway down the course took its toll on the American racers, as both Mancuso and Cook were dominating their runs up to that point.
“I don’t know where I lost it – I’m a little frustrated right now,” Cook said after the race. “I want to talk to my coaches to find out where all that time went.”
“It was really difficult with fast snow,” Mancuso said. “You had to be 100 percent on it to do well. It was bumpy and fast but it was a lot of fun. It was hard to feel perfect; you just had to charge hard. It was close to being on the podium. I felt pretty solid on the course – didn’t feel like I would crash. When you’re at World Championships you’re charging hard.”
Fellow Americans Leanne Smith and Alice McKennis finished 12th and 17th, respectively, in front of a crowd of more than 25,000 fans.
The injured Lindsey Vonn leads the downhill standings, while Cook is second, McKennis fourth and Smith sixth.
“This team is always striving for podiums right now,” said U.S. Speed Head Coach Chip White. “The girls are disappointed. I personally am very proud of them for the job they’ve done to get to this point and they still are the best downhill team in the world.”
Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht finished 22nd and teammate Steven Nyman was 25th to lead the USA in a rugged downhill at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming on Saturday.
Despite an incredibly fast top section, Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley went out above the finish pitch, while fellow Squaw racer Travis Ganong also did not finish.
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal took a dominant win over Italy’s Dominik Paris. France’s David Poisson took bronze. Nyman fell midway through his run but recovered and finished 25th.