Julia Mancuso collected her second win of the 2012 World Cup season and Alexis Pinturault the first of his career on a 200foot high snow covered ramp under the lights in downtown Moscow this evening (Feb. 21).
Mancuso showed no mercy taking a .37 of a second lead in the first heat of the finals over Michaela Kirchgasser then expounding on that lead in the second for an easy final.
Pinturault was an upset winner of Felix Neureuther who had used a powerful start technique to motor through the qualifying rounds without losing a single run. Andre Myhrer finished in third and Romed Baumann fourth.
"It's a challenge," said Mancuso. "It's half physical, half mental. You have to get out of the start quick and not worry about who you are racing against. ... It was challenging: tough and a lot of fun."
All credit due to the winners, perhaps the best run of the day should be credited to Lindsey Vonn who overcame a three tenths of a second margin to nemesis Maria Hoefl-Riesch to win the battle for third place and the points the placing brings.
"My last run against Maria was my best run of the day," Vonn said. "I'm really excited to be on the podium and also excited for Jules. She skied amazing today."
Pinturault said he was really happy to have secured his first World Cup win and like many said a good start was critical over the short (11gates, 172meters) course. "I tried to make a good start because you can make a good defense from the start. It can be a big difference and (then) you can be really fast during the run."
The “city event” category of the World Cup circuit only offers overall points and with the top 15 men and 15 women invited (plus a couple of Russian hopefuls) the high part of the standings got shifted around slightly. Vonn gained ground on Tina Maze when the latter hooked a tip going against Kirchgasser, and by beating Hoefl-Riesch in the third place run-off, padded that margin as well. Mancuso moved up to fifth place.
Men's tour leader Marcel Hirscher got caught up in a rut and slid enough to give Pinturault their quarter final match up. He and Beat Feuz each gained 30pts on Ivica Kostelic, absent while recovering from minor knee surgery. Pinturault moved to 11th place overall with Myhrer jumping to tenth.
by Hank McKee
World Cup City Event parallel slalom, Moscow, Russia, Feb. 21, 2012
1 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
2 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
4 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
1 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/
3 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/
4 Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
World Cup City Event parallel slalom Moscow, Russia Feb. 21, 2012. ... They are the 32nd of 44 men's events and the 26th of 39 women's events on the 2012 World Cup schedule. ... They are they only city events remaining on the schedule after the cancellation of Munich event New Years Day.
It is the seventh career World Cup win for Julia Mancuso, her first in a parallel format. ... It is her second victory of the season after the Garmisch SG Feb. 5. ... It is the first career World Cup victory for Alexis Pinturault in just 18 scoring finishes. ... He has been second three times, twice this season.
It is the tenth World Cup podium placing for Michaela Kirchgasser. ... her third of the season having won the Kranjska Gora slalom Jan. 22 and placing third in the Zagreb slalom Jan. 3. ... It is the 13th career World Cup podium result for Felix Neureuther, the second not scored in slalom. ... It is his third podium of the season the others in slaloms at Zagreb Jan. 5 and at Alta Badia Dec. 19.
It is the 72nd career World Cup podium placing for Lindsey Vonn. ... her first in a parallel event. ... It is her 13th podium of the season. ... and second straight third place finish. ... It is the 12th career World Cup podium for Andre Myhrer, the others all in slalom. ... It is his fourth podium of the season without a win.
North Americans: Ted Ligety got hung up on the start gate in his first run and did not advance.
Standings: Vonn maintains her lead in the World Cup overall standings 1502-1024 for Tina Maze (fifth in race). ... Hoefl-Riesch is third at 1006. ... Mancuso moves to fifth overall with 762pts. ... Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian in 28th with 204pts. ... Marcel Hirscher (fifth in race) leads the men's overall World Cup standings 1055-1043 over Ivica Kostelic (did not race). ... Beat Feuz (fifth in race) is third with 1003pts. ... Ted Ligety (ninth in race) is top American in eighth with 633pts. ... Bode Miller (did not race) is ninth with 612pts. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 16th with 397pts.
FIS World Cup
Ladies' City Event
FIS World Cup
Men's City Event
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