Mancuso records three top-six finishes at Lake Louise |

Mancuso records three top-six finishes at Lake Louise

U.S. Ski Team and Sun Staff report
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank GunnJulia Mancuso races down the course on her way to sixth place in the women's World Cup downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday. Mancuso was third in Sunday's super G and fourth in Friday's downhill.

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta and#8212; Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley recorded three top-six finishes at Lake Louise, Alberta, this past weekend, placing third in Sunday’s super G, sixth in Saturday’s downhill and fourth in Friday’s downhill.

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn returned to the top of the Lake Louise podium Sunday with a commanding super G victory over Maria Riesch of Germany as six Americans finished inside the top 25.

and#8220;Today I dropped the hammer a little bit more and believed in myself,and#8221; said Vonn, who barely escaped a near-crash on Saturday. and#8220;For me the bottom line is never giving up.and#8221;

Vonn (1:20.72) crushed the field by nearly a second, just under an hour before teammate and fellow Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety won the Audi Birds of Prey giant slalom in Beaver Creek. It was the first time since 2006 that two Americans won World Cup races on the same day.

Sunday’s win marked Vonn’s 14th podium and eighth win in Lake Louise in the last six years. It was the second podium finish in Lake Louise for Mancuso, who stamped an exclaimation mark on the incredible skiing she produced throughout the week.

and#8220;I just went out of the gate charging. I was psyched to be on the podium,and#8221; said Mancuso, who posted a time of 1:21.61 in the super G. and#8220;It’s nice to have been skiing really well and consistent in the downhill, so to finish it off with a third place and my best super G result there is refreshing. I’m excited and I think it will just get better through the season.and#8221;

Stacey Cook of Truckee, Laurenne Ross, Alice McKennis and Leanne Smith all scored World Cup points, taking positions 20-23.

Vonn made a spectacular athletic recovery Saturday to finish second in the downhill to lead a pack of seven Americans into the top 25.

Riesch of Germany, the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup leader, earned back-to-back downhill wins as Mancuso posted another solid result in sixth.

On a critical left turn midway down the course, Vonn’s skis released from the snow, sending her sailing through the air sideways. The three-time World Cup downhill champion then landed hard on her left hip, immediately bounced up, regained her tuck and continued to charge, missing the win by a mere .10 seconds.

and#8220;I realized I was on my hip and thought I was going into the fence and I just kept thinking and#8216;get back up, get back up, get back up,’and#8221; said Vonn, who attributed the save to her rigorous off-season conditioning program. and#8220;Somehow I caught my edge and was able to stand back up. Once I was on my feet again I just kept thinking and#8216;make up time.’and#8221;

and#8220;She had probably one of the most amazing recoveries in the history of ski racing,and#8221; said speed Head Coach Chip White. and#8220;She was completely laid out onto her side coming into Fall Away, skipped through the air and was able to get back to her feet. Honestly I thought she was in the fence. Ninety-nine percent of all racers would have been in the fence, but the athleticism of Lindsey was phenomenal. It’s unbelievable that she’s in the top 20, much less second.and#8221;

Mancuso continues to show she’s a contender, as she’s landed in the top 10 in her last three World Cup downhill races.

and#8220;Julia skied brilliantly,and#8221; added White. and#8220;She skied so clean and so tough. I’m pleased with her performace over the last few days. Normally this is not her hill and she’s making something out of it and proving that she’s in the game.and#8221;

Chelsea Marshall was 14th with McKennis and Smith tying for 15th, followed by Ross in 19th and Cook 25th.

Vonn and Mancuso led the U.S. Ski Team in second and fourth, respectively, while seven Americans stormed the top 30 and Riesch captured the win.

Both Vonn and Mancuso debuted personally designed Spyder speed suits during the women’s downhill opener.

Mancuso said she was skiing while thinking of best friend Chemmy Alcott of Great Brittan, who suffered a severely broken leg in the final training run Thursday.

and#8220;I skied solid, but there’s definitely room to go faster,and#8221; said Mancuso, who was on her way to visit Alcott at the hospital in nearby Banff. and#8220;I had a long day yesterday just worrying about my friend and going to the hospital just waiting for her to get done with surgery, so it’s nice to have a solid race run under my belt.and#8221;

McKennis ran first and spent a good portion of time in the leader box before slipping to 11th. Smith, Ross, Cook and Marshall all scored World Cup points by landing inside the top 30. Cook was 25th.

and#8220;Everyone skied really well,and#8221; Mancuso said. and#8220;A couple people had higher expectations because of the training runs, but in general this was pretty cool.and#8221;

The next stop on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour is St. Moritz, Switerzland from Dec. 9-12.

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