BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — The sweep is officially in play in Beaver Creek this weekend.
With her second win in as many days on the Raptor speed course, Lara Gut again demonstrated that she is skiing on another level. It was far from a perfect run for the Swiss racer, who made a major mistake on the upper, more technical part of the course, rolling the windows down and nearly getting launched over the handlebars. After an impressive recovery, Gut was able to refocus on the middle and lower parts of the course to best runner-up Anna Fenninger by nearly a second. On a course that clearly favors the more technical skiers, Nicole Hosp rounded out the podium in third.
“When you like the slope, everything feels easier,” said Gut. “In super G, like I said yesterday, you can be fast, but it’s easy to fall out. … It’s an interesting (course). It’s difficult, but not too much. The snow is great. The course setting was also fine.”
Elisabeth Goergl, who initially finished in second place, was disqualified after the race for an equipment violation pertaining to the width of her ski in front of the binding. As a result, her teammate Hosp moved up onto the podium in super G for the first time since 2008.
“It was not easy to ski start No. 1,” said Hosp. “It’s a really difficult slope and everybody just wants to watch somebody. It’s not easy with all the rolls. It’s so turny and there’s a lot of sun and shadows. … I’m really sorry for Elisabeth. The rules, they are here, and she was not confirmed. So I’m lucky today.”
The top North American result was delivered by Canada’s Larisa Yurkiw, who powered from bib 43 to notch her first top-15 finish since 2009.
For many, it appeared as if the gates were coming at them pretty quickly, especially after four straight days of running downhill on the Raptor course.
And for the second day in a row, it was disappointing results for the American racers, who for the most part skied defensively on the crucial parts of the course. This week’s racing has also raised concerns that the course might not be well suited for a U.S. team comprised largely by gliders.
Leanne Smith skied a low line on the upper part of the run and was conservative in the course’s midsection, but managed the best time of the day for the U.S. ladies. She finished 23rd and 2.72 seconds behind the winner.
“It’s a good course, but very much one that I think I over skied, which will happen. It happened to me the first race of the season,” said Smith. “That wasn’t my approach. That wasn’t my intent. Obviously, I regret it and move on and go to Lake Louise. I’m not going to sit here and dwell on the fact that I’m way out and I’m not going to have a result that I even close to wanted today. But that’s ski racing and that’s life.”
Asked if there is anything the speed team needs to adjust prior to next season’s World Championships, Leanne Smith said they have effectively prepared for technical courses. “Portillo is really challenging in September. It doesn’t get more difficult than that, especially at that time of the season. At Copper, it’s such a nice venue. It makes you feel so good. It has some little challenging parts to it. … Obviously, not everywhere you go is going to be super challenging like this, but we have the best downhill/super G training of any team.
“I don’t know that there’s more pressure racing at home,” added Smith. “You just have a higher standard. There are a lot of people cheering for you, so you have these high standards for yourself — or at least I do. … I know how this (course) runs now. I know how the snow feels. Just because we had a bad weekend — some may say a bad weekend, I suppose — I call it a learning experience. You can’t kick ass every single weekend.”
After Smith, Stacey Cook was the next best American in 28th.
“I thought my skiing was OK. I felt comfortable,” said Cook. “I was off on a few gates on this race today. I think every meter mattered and every gate counted. … It’s early in the year and this is a very demanding series as far as the difficulty of the course and the hometown pressure.”
Julia Mancuso, who said on Friday (Nov. 29) that her super G setup was dialed in, finished 29th. She did not speak with the media after the race.
By Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup super G, Beaver Creek, Colo., Nov. 30, 2013
Equipment (skier, skis/boots/bindings)
1 Gut, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
5 Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look
6 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
7 Goggia, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Sejersted, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Women’s World Cup super G, Beaver Creek, Colo., Nov. 30, 2013. … It is the fourth of 32 races on the women’s 20113-14 World Cup schedule… the first of seven super G’s on the women’s schedule. … It is the 52nd World Cup race hosted by Beaver Creek… the 15th super G and the second women’s super G. … It is the first super G on the Raptor course. … It is the second of three World Cup races for women set for Beaver Creek this season. The men come in for a trio of races next week.
It is the eighth career World Cup win for Lara Gut… and her third of the season in four races held. … It is her third career World Cup super G win… and her second win of the weekend.
It is the 18th career World Cup podium result for Anna Fenninger… her second at Beaver Creek having also placed third in SG Dec. 7, 2011.
It is the 53rd career World Cup podium for Nicole Hosp… her seventh in super G.
It is the second best career World Cup result for Larisa Yurkiw, bettered only by a ninth place finish at Tarvisio Feb. 21, 2009. … It is the 52nd career scoring result for Leanne Smith, the 81st scoring finish for Stacey Cook… and 255th for Julia Mancuso.
Lara Gut strengthens her lead of the World Cup overall standings 300-178 over Anna Fenninger. … Maria Hoefl-Riesch moves to third with 148pts. … Mikaela Shiffrin (did not race) holds fourth with 140pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon holds 12th with 71pts.
Austria leads the Nations Cup 1052-616 over Switzerland… France is third at 471pts… The U.S. is fifth with 336pts, and Canada 11th at 122pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|10||7||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:20.19||23.70|
|25||8||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:21.25||37.89|
|33||41||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:22.19||50.48|
|48||60||435210||GASIENICA- GLADCZAN Agnieszka||1987||POL||1:25.49||94.66|
|51||64||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG||1:27.86||126.40|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|65||35079||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|