Alpine ski racing | Mancuso top 10 twice in France |

Alpine ski racing | Mancuso top 10 twice in France

Staff and U.S. Ski Team report

COURCHEVEL, France – Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley and U.S. teammate Mikaela Shiffrin combined for top-10 finishes in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom in Courchevel, France, on Sunday.

Mancuso was sixth and Shiffrin ninth as Tina Maze of Slovenia continued her dominance, winning her fourth straight GS.

“It’s a step in the right direction for my GS,” said Mancuso, who recorded two top-10 finishes on the weekend. “I was happy to come down second and end up sixth.”

Mancuso moved to fifth in the World Cup overall standings, one spot behind Lindsey Vonn, who went out in the first run. Maze leads the overall, 799-468, over Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

Two days earlier in Val d’Isere, American Leanne Smith parlayed an early start number into a career-first World Cup podium, as she finished second in the downhill behind Swiss winner Lara Gut. Mancuso finished seventh and Stacey Cook of Truckee was 10th.

Smith, who started third, was among four Americans in the top 10 on a shortened course after high winds forced a move of the start. Alice McKennis placed eighth.

Vonn lost her footing on a fallaway turn near the top and slid into the B-netting. She got up and skied down on her own power to the finish.

The best-in-the-world U.S. women’s speed team has now placed four different athletes on the podium this season.

The World Cup now heads for Are, Sweden, for giant slalom and slalom Wednesday and Thursday.

“It should be fun in Sweden,” Mancuso said. “It will be cool to be back to the GS race under the lights as there’s not a lot of sunshine that time of year.”

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