After the cancellation of two races and a training run in Cortina d’Ampezzo last weekend, the ladies were fired up Thursday to finally get some official results on the Olympia delle Tofane course, as they contested the first super G race Thursday (Jan. 23).
It was the first of four events in Cortina this week — two super G and two downhill — replacing the nixed races of last weekend and the originally scheduled competitions at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which lacks snow.
Elisabeth Goergl continued her hot streak. Coming off a recent dramatic win in Altenmarkt, the 32-year-old Austrian skied a nice, clean line where others had trouble, smoking the final stretch of the course for a winning pace of 1 minute, 24.23 seconds.
“What I am looking for everyday is the way to ski the best,” said Goergl. “That (is) the main focus and of course it is great when it pays off and you are the fastest. For now, I feel very comfortable on my equipment. I am very happy I can ski the way I want to and that I am healthy. I appreciate everyday.”
Maria Hoefl-Riesch, as she has most of the season, skied the cleanest, smoothest run. It was perhaps just one small line error in a critical middle section that cost her a touch of speed and the win. She finished second, just 0.04 seconds behind Goergl.
“It’s my first super G podium of the season and that’s great satisfaction,” said Hoefl-Riesch. “So far it hasn’t worked fine for me in super G. I was fast in some sections but always made big mistakes. Today I finally managed not to make any big mistake and I am really happy about this race.”
Hoefl-Riesch also discussed her overall view of the season thus far heading into the Winter Olympic Games.
“The season has been going well for me, not perfect but really good. Even in giant slalom, I got two fifth places. The consistency has been missing a little bit. With the Olympics getting closer, I hope I will have enough of this consistency and mental strength entering the races there.”
Rounding out the podium and continuing a hot streak of her own, Nicole Hosp, who’s coming off a nice slalom performance in Flachau, nailed the line up top to take third on the day.
After a slow start to the season, the American speed team is starting to find its groove. For the first time in a long time (Lake Louise to be exact), the U.S. was able to land two ladies in the top 10, with Julia Mancuso, fastest in Wednesday’s training, claiming seventh position and Stacey Cook not far behind in ninth.
“Super G is so hard starting in the back, so my first goal was to try to improve my start position. I made it in to the top-30 mix for this race because of some injuries, and I knew this was a great opportunity,” said Cook. “My 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. Every super G has gotten a step better this year, and I’m definitely motivated to keep that going. I’m loving this time here in Cortina!”
For Mancuso, some recent time off and further work on her equipment seems to have her peaking at just the right time in the season. Running seventh, she was more confident and more comfortable over the ski; she hit the line and charged through the finish. Likewise, Cook, running fourth, skied like she was hungry for a result, aggressive, making several athletic adjustments to stay on course.
“Things are going in the right direction and I know I have a lot more in me,” said Mancuso. “Training has been going really well and racing is getting better, so I’m getting there just in time for the Olympics.”
Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t quite as positive for Leanne Smith, who was clean up top and in the hunt at the first two splits but wasn’t able to reach the third. She fought hard to stay in the course, but the errors began to multiply and she couldn’t hang on.
Laurenne Ross finished 37th, and Julia Ford jumped up from a start position of 52nd to finish just out of World Cup points in 32nd.
Racing in Cortina continues Friday with the first of two downhills, scheduled to begin at 4:15 a.m. ET (10:15 a.m. CET).
To view photos of this race click here.
By Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup super G, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Jan. 23, 2014
Equipment – Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
3 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
5 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
6 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
7 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
8 Stuffer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Kling, Head/Head/Head
Women’s World Cup super G, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Jan. 23, 2014. … It is the 20th of 32 races on the women’s 2014 World Cup schedule. … The fourth of seven scheduled super G’s.
It is the sixth career World Cup win for Elisabeth Goergl… her second in super G. … It is her second win of the season having claimed the Altenmarkt downhill Jan. 11. … It is her first win at Cortina, though she was second in super G in 2008 at the site.
It is the 79th career World Cup podium for Maria Hoefl-Riesch… her seventh of the season. … It is her 15th career World Cup SG podium… her first of the season. … It is her eighth World Cup podium at Cortina, her fifth in SG.
It is the 54th career World Cup podium for Nicole Hosp… her second of the season… after placing third at Beaver Creek in SG Nov. 30. … It is her seventh podium at Cortina, the first since 2008.
It is the best finish of the season for Julia Mancuso and her first venture into the top 10 of a World Cup race this season. … It is the best finish of the season for Stacey Cook, her previous best a ninth Dec. 7 at Lake Louise. … It is her 17th career top 10.
Hoefl-Riesch leads the women’s World Cup overall standings 861-754 over Anna Fenninger. … Tina Weirather (fourth in race) is third overall with 723pts. … Mikaela Shiffrin (did not race) is fifth overall with 614pts and Marie Michele Gagnon (did not race) is seventh with 453pts
Lara Gut (fourth in race) leads the super G standings 248-245 over Fenninger. … Weirather is third with 230pts. … Gagnon leads all North Americans in SG in 11th with 66pts. … Julia Mancuso is 14th with 63pts.
Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 3537-1889 over Switzerland. … Sweden is third with 1688pts. … U.S. is sixth with 1095pts and Canada ninth with 717pts.
Results — Ladies Super G, Jan. 23
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|17||25||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:25.85||+1.62||20.19|
|30||24||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:26.58||+2.35||29.29|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|