Julia Mancuso skied her best super G race of the season, finishing seventh and gaining speed on her run to Sochi at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Cortina, Italy. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)
CORTINA d'AMPEZZO, Italy (Jan. 23) – Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) continued to gain momentum toward Sochi with seventh Thursday in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G in Cortina for her best race of the season. Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) added to the U.S. momentum with ninth, her best super G finish since 2007. Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl won the race, which was a replacement for the canceled super G race last weekend due to a powerful winter storm that sidelined the weekend’s speed events. The athletes take on downhill Friday, another replacement event, followed by a downhill and super G scheduled Saturday and Sunday in Cortina. The U.S. Olympic selection period ends on Sunday and official team nominations will be announced that afternoon.
Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) produced her best World Cup result of the season with seventh in the Cortina super G.
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) added to the team success, landing her best super G finish since 2007 with ninth.
The race, orginally slated for last weekend, was the first of a four-race series that concludes Sunday, the final day for U.S. athletes to qualify for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Austrian veteran Elisabeth Goergl won, for her second Audi FIS Alpine World Cup win of the season. German Maria Hoefl-Riesch was second with Nicole Hosp of Austria third.
Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) was on track for a solid result when she was bumped wide while clearing a gate in the middle of the course and did not finish.
Julia Ford (Holderness, NH) and Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) just missed scoring points with 31st and 34th respectively. Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) finshed 36th.
The race was the first of four World Cup events to be held in four straight days. Action continues with downhill followed by a second downhill on Saturday and super G on Sunday.
The U.S. Alpine Ski Team will nominate their athletes to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team on Sunday, Jan. 26 following the competitions in Cortina and Kitzbuehel.
QUOTES Julia Mancuso Things are going in the right direction and I know I have a lot more in me. Training has been going really well and racing is getting better, so I'm getting there just in time for the Olympics.
Stacey Cook I've been psyched with my super G equipment since back in the fall. It's the best stuff I've had on my feet in years. I made it in to the top 30 mix for this race because of some injuries and I knew this was a great opportunity. The plan was to trust everything, my skiing, my inspection, some adjustments from the coaches and then to just attack. It was a fun run and I'm thankful it was fast too.
Chip White, Head Women's Speed Team Coach I know that great results are going to come again, because we have a lot of talent in our group. It's unfortunate we don't have Lindsey [Vonn] and Alice [McKennis], but we still have a very solid team and everbody is starting to step it up.