Stacey Cook arced the the Olympia downhill to her second straight fifth place finish in Cortina. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Groscluade)
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Jan. 25) - The U.S. Ski Team speed women continued to storm toward the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podum Saturday as Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) finished fifth and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) seventh in the second of two Cortina downhills. With less than two weeks to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the pair has now finished inside the World Cup top 10 in three striaght races with Cook also finishing fifth in Friday's downhill. Tina Maze of Slovenia, last season's overall and downhill champion, took her first victory of the 2014 season. The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Universal Sports Network.
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) tied for fifth in the second straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill in Cortina.
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) finished seventh. The pair has now finished top 10 in three striaght races at the Italian resort.
Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) was 26th and World Cup rookie Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR), who was 15th yesterday, finished 29th.
The race was incredibly tight with the top 15 skiers separated by less than a second.
Women's Olympic racing opens in Sochi on Feb. 10 with super combined followed by the downhill on Feb. 12.
The race, orginally slated for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was moved to Cortina due to lack of snow in Germany.
Clear blue skies allowed the downhill to be staged from the top start. Friday's race was run from the super G start.
Reigning overall and downhill champion Tina Maze of Slovenia won for her first victory of the 2014 season.
It was the final downhill of the 2014 Olympic qualification period for the U.S. Ski Team.
A super G wil close the four-race speed series on Sunday in Cortina. Nominations to the Sochi-bound alpine team will be announced later that afternoon.
QUOTES Stacey Cook I feel good about my results this weekend. 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. My equipment is feeling really good as well and my technician deserves a lot of credit. I heard I made up a lot of time on the bottom flats. Four races in a row is a lot, but it would mean a lot to me to complete the weekend with a good super G result tomorrow.
Julia Mancuso I'm stoked to see Stacey skiing fast as well. I feel really comfortable on my skis and with my equipment now, and it's all about having that perfect run top to bottom.
This week has been a perfect preparation for the Olympics. I started confident in the training run that I won, then the last two races I had a few nerves to deal with at the start. Today I felt I really executed my plan to the finish line, I just made a wrong line decision at the bottom. I also just need to adapt a little more to changing snow conditions.
I’m excited to combine what I learned the last three days in tomorrow's race, and then heading into the Olympics, there is always lots of excitement and I have always fed off that. I couldn't be in a better place right now, and I am excited I was able to come out of that valley and be ready to fight for medals.
Alex Hoedlmoser,Women's Alpine Head Coach This is exactly the direction we need to be moving in right now. The Olympics are coming up quickly and this team is starting to believe in their abilities again. There is so much talent with this group, but it all still comes down to belief in themselves and then execution. We've had some equipment things we've been sorting out too and that's normal, but that is starting to come together as well. It's good timing.
Today, the skiing was in general really good. We'll look at some things we can do to be faster tomorrow, but this was a really tight race and it just came down to perfect execution.