Stacey Cook, Julia Mancuso lead USA in Cortina
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Truckee’s Stacey Cook led the U.S. women in World Cup racing this past weekend with a pair of fifth-place downhill finishes and a 13th in the super G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
“I feel good about my results this weekend,” Cook said. “It always stings when you are so close to the podium, but I know this is a positive move heading towards Sochi, and for the season in general.”
Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley also had a strong weekend in Cortina, as she finished ninth in the first downhill on Friday and seventh in the second downhill on Saturday. She placed 16th in Sunday’s super G.
With less than two weeks to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Cook and Mancuso have now finished inside the World Cup top 10 in three straight races.
“I’m stoked to see Stacey skiing fast as well,” Mancuso said. “I feel really comfortable on my skis and with my equipment now, and it’s all about having that perfect run top to bottom.”
Tina Maze of Slovenia, last season’s overall and downhill champion, took her first victory of the 2014 season in Saturday’s downhill — which was the final event before the Olympics.
American Leanne Smith was 26th and World Cup rookie Jackie Wiles 29th. The race was incredibly tight with the top 15 skiers separated by less than a second.
In Sunday’s super G, swirling wind, tough visibility and a tricky course forced 19 athletes, including Julia Ford, off course.
Swiss Lara Gut won for her fifth victory of the season. She was followed by Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein and Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany.
“This week has been a perfect preparation for the Olympics,” said Mancuso, who won Olympic gold in 2006 and two silvers in 2010.
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