Goetschl wins first of two downhills at Cortina; Kildow thirdThe track at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Olympia delle Tofane, has some interesting nuances. Tap into them and you own the place. Regine Cavagnoud won four races there. Isolde Kostner won five. Katja Seizinger won four. But Renate Goetschl has changed the locks and parked her car in the garage with eight Cortina World Cup wins, the most by nearly double of any competitor.
Saturday, Jan. 15, with a day left yet to run, she had collected three wins at Cortina this season in four days. None of the margins were big, but they were big enough. “On some other slope, maybe” said runner-up Croatian star Janica Kostelic. “But, being behind her here is like winning… She’s too fast for everyone.”
With the most recent win Goetschl caught Katja Seizinger for third on the all time women’s World Cup wins list with 36. It was something she had aimed at doing, “but I didn’t expect it this soon.” At 29, she could elect to go after the top two on the list, Vreni Schneider with 55 and Annemarie Moser-Proell with 62, but those marks will be well off into the future.
The second place result was nearly as exciting for Kostelic as first was for Goetschl. The Croate moved into the lead for the World Cup overall title with her first ever downhill podium. Both she and Goetschl overtook Finn Tanja Poutiainen who has led the tour from the early going with nothing but slalom and GS points. Poutiainen does not race downhill. “It’s pretty good,” said an elated Kostelic, “but there are still a lot of races to come.” Thirteen in fact, assuming the schedule is completed in this weather dependent sport, (3DH, 3GS, 3SG, 3SL and 1 combined).
The happy news on the U.S. front was the sixth podium of the season for Lindsey Kildow who finished third. The 20 year old was set back in the downhill standings to second by Goetschl, but she is obviously still in the fight and still throwing punches. She skied brilliantly high on the course and may be having a set of Olympia delle Tofane keys made. In five races over two seasons she has never finished worse than fifth. Only a mistake low on the course kept her from making a stronger run at Goetschl.
“I made some mistakes,” she said. “Like leaning in on two turns for instance. They were small things I can clean up. I was a little edgy and didn’t let my skis go.” She said Goetschl’s claim on the lead of the World Cup downhill standings was “only temporary,” vowing to improve in the final race of the Cortina set.
For the team in general, including Kildow, the more exciting news of the day was the performance of Kirsten Clark. She finished eighth, her best result of the season and best since a nasty crash at Haus, Austria last season where she tore both knees and broke her right wrist. “This was huge for Kirsten,” said coach Alex Hoedlmoser, “just huge. … It is just what she needed and she’s going to be somebody to watch at the World Championships. This should give her some confidence.”
Clark finished had the unenviable delight of holding the lead before Goetschl came down and pushed her to second place by more than a second. The U.S. got it’s usual five scoring finishers with Caroline Lalive in 12th, Julia Mancuso in 17th and Jonna Mendes in 23rd. Bryna McCarty was 38th missing points by .64. Libby Ludlow finished 42nd.
The Canadians suffered two DNF’s and had Kelly Vanderbeek in 26th place. The only other Canadian racer to cross the finish line was Sophie Splawinski in 44th. This result didn’t come without any hardships: Approximately a kilometer into the race, Splawinski, the last racer out of the start gate, was yellow flagged after the skier ahead of her fell. Splawinski had to take the chairlift back to the summit of the course, and then hike up to the start hut positioned between two impressive rocks at the highest point on the mountain. Splawinski courageously regrouped herself and managed to ski a solid run considering her young experience on the World Cup circuit.
‘I’m very happy about my run’ said Splawinski. ‘I stayed calm and I even found a way to use my re-run to my advantage. I talked to my coach and he gave me a few pointers on what I could do better in that first section. I guess every time you get another chance on this hill it’s a bonus!’
Also noteworthy was the return of former World Cup downhill title holder (2000) German Regine Haeusl. It was her first scoring race (27th place) in nearly a year as she attempts to rebound, at age 31, from torn left knee ligaments sustained a year ago. She had been a DNF in both Cortina SG’s and had finished in the 30′s and 40′s in earlier races this season.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Jan. 15, 2004
1. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:37.27
2. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:37.56
3. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:37.71
4. Hilde Gerg, GER 1:37.80
5. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:37.95
6. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:37.98
7. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:38.20
8. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:38/29
9. Janette Hargin, SWE 1:38.33
10. Alexandra Meissnitzer, AUT 1:38.48
11. Karin Blaser, AUT 1:38.53
12. Caroline Lalive, USA 1:38.55
12. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, SWE 1:38.55
14. Sylvaine Berthod, SUI 1:38.69
15. Isolde Kostner, ITA 1:38.75
16. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:38.80
17. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:38.83
18. Astrid Vierthaler, AUT 1:38.96
19. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:39.03
20. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 1:39.09
21. Petra Haltmayr, GER 1:39.12
22. Marie Marchand-Arvier, FRA 1:39.22
23. Jonna Mendes, USA 1:39.23
24. Magda Mattel, FRA 1:39.28
24. Isabelle Huber, GER 1:39.28
26. Kelly Vanderbeek, CAN 1:39.37
27. Katja Wirth, AUT 1:39.41
27. Regine Haeusl, GER 1:39.41
29. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:39.42
30. Selina Heregger, AUT 1:39.52
other North Americans:
38. Bryna McCarty, USA 1:40.16
42. Libby Ludlow, USA 1:40.70
44. Sophie Splawinski, CAN 1:40.99
DNF: Emily Brydon, Anne-Marie LeFrancois, CAN
By Hank McKee
Women’s Downhill, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Jan. 15, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Goetschl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Gerg, Volkl/Lange/Marker
5 Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Jacquemod, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Styger, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Clark, Fischer/Salomon/Marker
9 Hargin, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
10 Meissnitzer, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
Women’s Downhill, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Jan. 15, 2005. … It is the 20th race of the women’s 32 race (plus 1 combined) schedule. … The fifth of eight scheduled downhills. … Winning margin is .29 and the top seven are in the same second.
It is the 36th career victory for Renate Goetschl. … third of the season and third in four days. … It is her eighth win at Cortina. … It is her 18th DH win. She is now tied with Katja Seizinger for third on all time women’s victory list (behind Annemarie Moser-Proell and Vreni Schneider); and is second all time on the DH win list behind Moser-Proell.
It is the 34th career podium for Janica Kostelic. … Her fifth of the season. … It is her first career podium in DH.
It is the seventh career podium for Lindsey Kildow. … Her sixth of the season. … Her second in two days.
It is the best finish of the season for Kirsten Clark. … It is her 29th career top 10. … her fifth at Cortina. … It is the sixth best of 10 scoring results this season for Caroline Lalive. … She has been in the top 12 of all five DH’s this season. … It is the 12th scoring result of the season for Julia Mancuso. …Her fourth in DH. … It is the seventh scoring result of the season for Jonna Mendes. … It is the fifth scoring result of the season for Kelly Vanderbeek.
It is the first scoring race in nearly a year (1/18/04) for 31 year old
Regina Haeusl. … she is returning from torn left knee ligaments 1/28/04. … She had been a DNF in both Cortina SG’s and had finished in the 30′s and 40′s in earlier races this season.
Both Janica Kostelic and Renate Goetschl moved past Tanja Poutiainen (did not race) and Anja Paerson (29th) in the overall standings… Kostelic holds the lead 739-718 over Goetschl. … Poutiainen is third at 706 and Paerson fourth at 661. Top American is Lindsey Kildow in fifth at 625. … Goetschl has the downhill standings lead 355-335 over Kildow with Hilde Gerg (finished 4th) third at 315. … Caroline Lalive is next best American in eighth at 138. Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 3556-2074. … The Germans are third at 1578.