World Cup racing: Mancuso hoping to salvage season at world championships |

World Cup racing: Mancuso hoping to salvage season at world championships

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy ” Just two seasons after she challenged for the overall World Cup title, Julia Mancuso struggles just to post top-10 finishes.

Bothered by a bad back and new equipment, the Olympic Valley product could salvage a disappointing season with a big performance at the upcoming World Championships in Val d’Isere, France from Tuesday through Feb. 15.

“On a year where our team was stronger, I would have struggled to qualify. But none of the girls are really doing awesome besides Lindsey (Vonn), so luckily I can still do all my events,” Mancuso said this past Thursday after World Cup downhill training was canceled for the third straight day.

Mancuso has had only two top-10 finishes this season ” seventh in a giant slalom in Aspen, Colo., in November, and sixth in a GS in Semmering, Austria, last month.

In 2006-07, Mancuso won four races. But she has always saved her best skiing for major championships.

Before she had ever won on the World Cup tour, Mancuso took two bronze medals at the 2005 World Championships in Bormio and Santa Caterina, then took gold in giant slalom at the 2006 Turin Olympics and a silver in super-combi at the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden.

“Yeah, it’s been good. I want to continue,” Mancuso said. “It’s always good to have a buildup, so hopefully we’ll get to race here.”

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