Podium for Ross, Maze the win, McKennis helicoptered off in Garmisch
Before the start of the season, the U.S. women's speed team, led by coach Chip White, set a goal to land every member of the team on the podium.
Laurenne Ross, who was reluctantly passed up by the team for a downhill start at the World Championships in Schladming less than three weeks ago, became the sixth and final member of the best-in-the-world group to achieve the podium feat, finishing second to Tina Maze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on Saturday. She's the seventh American woman to finish on the podium if you include Shiffrin on the tech side and the fourth first-timer of the season. It's the best result of her career.
Ross ran 26th on a day that clearly favored the second-half racers due to a course delay caused by Alice Mckennis' crash and helicopter exit from the lower part of the race hill.
"I haven’t had the best downhill results over the last couple weeks, so I’ve been a little bit tentative with my skiing," said Ross. "So today I knew I had to send it. I knew that if I didn’t give it everything I had I would regret it in the finish. So I just put it all on the line and skied it as fast as I could. It wasn’t perfect, but I was just trying to tuck everywhere I could and find every bit of speed."
Back atop the podium with her Stockli air guitar in hand, Maze has done a lot this season. She has clinched the Overall title, her first globe of any kind. She's now also surpassed Hermann Maier's single-season point record of 2000. And she's won across the board in several different disciplines.
Why not add a downhill win to her list of accomplishments?
In dominant fashion, Maze picked up her first DH victory of this historic season. The Slovenian ran on the better side of the significant delay, enjoying clear, sunny conditions, while those in the earlier part of the start list had to contend with a cloud layer roughly 30 seconds down the course.
McKennis was not among those with perfect visibility, and her run was shaping up to be something short of special with a late line that had her fighting toward the finish line, which was in sight at the time of her crash. McKennis hit the deck hard and she was very slow to get moving again.
“Alice McKennis suffered a fracture to her right tibial plateau as a result of a downhill crash Saturday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She was evacuated by helicopter as part of FIS standard procedure and evaluated immediately at the hospital in Garmisch. She is stable and will undergo further evaluation to determine the next steps for treatment,” sadi Kyle Wilkens, USSA medical director.
The early time to beat was set by Regina Sterz of Austria, but it was a whole new ballgame after the delay, and the ladies charged one by one down the Kandahar course.
Leanne Smith was first to kick out of the gate after the delay. The Granite Stater charged a fast run, nearly a half-second up on then-leader Sterz, but appeared to make a tactical mistake in the final turns of the course. She missed a gate and went home empty-handed.
Despite a few turns through the crucial lower part of the course that were short of her best, Julia Mancuso sat in podium position for a brief period. She was ultimately pushed back to sixth after the strong performances to follow, including that of hometown favorite Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who was second behind Maze until Ross knocked her back to third on the day.
American Stacey Cook was a half-second within the leading pace at one point, but lost time on the lower, technical part of the course. She finished ninth on the day.
Story by Geoff Mintz
Photos by GEPA
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, March 2, 2013
1 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Ross, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
4 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Moser, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
7 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
8 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
9 Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Stuhec, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women's World Cup downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, March 2, 2013. ... It is the 58th race of the World Cup season. ... the 30th of 37 for women. ... It is the seventh of eight scheduled women's downhills. ... It is the 97th Cup race hosted by Garmisch. ... the 39th downhill.
It is the 20th career World Cup win for Tina Maze. ... her second in downhill. ... It is her second Cup win at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. ... It is her tenth win of the season. ... and her record 20th Cup podium and 23rd total podium (including Worlds) this season.
It is the first career World Cup podium placing for Laurenne Ross. ... her previous best a fourth in super G at Tarviso March 6, 2011. ... It is the 28th Cup podium for the US this season. ...She is the ninth American to claim a podium this season.
It is the 71st career World Cup podium placing for Maria Hoefl-Riesch. ... her fifth in her hometown. ... It is her sixth podium of the season including World Championships.
It is the 11th top six finish of the season for Julia Mancuso. ... the 16th career Cup top ten for Stacey Cook.
Tina Maze leads (and has won) the World Cup overall standings 2024-970 over Maria Hoefl-Riesch. ... It is a record point total with seven races remaining. ... Anna Fenninger (14th in race) is third overall with 784pts. ... Julia Mancuso is fourth overall with 743, Lindsey Vonn fifth with 740pts and Mikaela Shiffrin eighth with 638pts. ... Vonn (did not race) maintains the lead of the downhill standings with one race remaining by one point over Maze 340-339. ... Hoefl-Riesch is third with 272pts. ... Stacey Cook is fourth with 244pts, Mancuso ninth with 202pts and Alice McKennis 10th with 198pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 4136-3199 over the US. ... Germany is third with 2312 and Canada ninth with 639pt. ... The US leads the women's DH standings 1330-873 over Switzerland.
FIS World Cup
|20||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:42.59|
|22||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:42.61|
|23||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:42.68|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|