Alpine ski racing | Mancuso fifth in Cortina super G

Staff and U.S. Ski Team

CORTINA, Italy – Squaw Valley racer Julia Mancuso blasted through heavy snow to finish fifth and lead three U.S. Ski Team women into the top seven in an Alpine World Cup super G in Cortina, Italy, on Sunday.

Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg picked up the win, while American Leanne Smith was sixth and Lindsey Vonn seventh.

Mancuso survived a scare coming out of the start, as she lost her pole and almost went out. But she overcame the mistake and battled through the heavy, wet snow that fell throughout the race.

“It was really tough to be fast with it snowing so hard,” Mancuso said. “It was OK until the bottom and I had to wipe my goggles coming around the corner, but I don’t think it cost me much time.”

Vonn is now second in the World Cup super G standings and Mancuso is third.

The race marked the final speed event before next month’s FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming. The women’s tour now heads to Maribor, Slovenia, for a pair of technical races next weekend.

On Saturday, Vonn climbed back on the top step of the podium by winning the Cortina downhill. It was her fifth win of the season, and 58th of her career.

Smith finished third for her second podium of the season, while Mancuso was ninth, Alice McKennis 11th, Truckee’s Stacey Cook 15th and Laurenne Ross 27th.

Despite missing a large number of races due to illness, Vonn still stands fourth in the World Cup overall standings, leading three Americans into the top 10. Vonn continues to lead the downhill standings, while Cook is second, McKennis fourth and Smith sixth.

WENGEN, Switzerland – Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley led the U.S. Ski Team with a 13th-place finish Saturday in the fabled Lauberhorn in Switzerland, which is knows as one of the most punishing downhills on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup.

Fellow Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong was the second American in 21st as Italian Christof Innerhofer took the win.

“Innerhofer skied the key turns flawlessly,” Sullivan said. “He told me that when he was in the start he had a feeling that he has never had before. He wanted to risk everything and he did not care of the consequences. In other words, he was in the zone and he executed his plan. Congrats to him. It is always a special thing to see racers win on these classic downhills.”

Americans Steven Nyman and Andrew Weibrecht both went out while Lauberhorn rookie Jared Golderg just missed World Cup points. World Cup overall challenger Aksel Lund-Svindal of Norway also went out.

Although Sullivan was not completely satisfied with his performance – “today was not my best performance here,” he said – the result did bump him into the top 10 in the downhill standings.

“Sully skied pretty good. It’s more points for him. He’s moving up in the points step by step,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Sasha Rearick. “He could have skied faster in a few areas by skiing a little cleaner. … Travis skied really good at the top and also at the bottom, but he had a few mistakes through the middle section that he just couldn’t get the time back.”

The tour now heads to the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel for the final weekend of racing before naming of the World Championships team.

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