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Lake Louise: Motivated Kildow tears up bottom half for downhill win

Lake Louise: Motivated Kildow tears up bottom half for downhill winLAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA, CANADA – American Lindsey Kildow overcame swirling winds to notch her second career World Cup win here at Lake Louise on Saturday

Kildow scored her first career victory here last season and followed it up with a fifth in the second race. After finishing fifth in the first downhill this year, Kildow joked, ‘Maybe I just had the order wrong, and will win tomorrow.’

It didn’t look a win was in the cards after she posted sluggish interval times on the upper part of the course, but she surged into the lead after nailing the critical midsection of the course and then held that speed across the rolling flats to the finish. Her time of 1 minute, 49.51 seconds just nipped Swiss skier Sylviane Berthod by .03 seconds and pushed Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria into third.
Following up her impressive performance in the first downhill, American Stacey Cook charged from the 51st start position to finish in eighth.

After a long delay at the doping center, Kildow finally emerged at the press conference – bedraggled but still brimming with energy. ‘Yesterday I felt like I had a bit of bad luck because of the weather and that gave me motivation today’ said Kildow. ‘I’m comfortable with the course. I’ve skied this course a lot and it suits my style; I just have a lot of confidence here.’ As for the wind, Kildow found a solution. ‘I knew from the coaches that it was windy, so you had to stay in your tuck as much as you could.’
It was until after the press conference that Kildow learned that Bode Miller had also won Saturday at Beaver Creek to set up the same double-win scenario as last year. After a stunned silence, Kildow screamed, ‘He did? That’s so awesome!”
The winds started gusting after the first 10 racers, raising havoc with their times. Racers would be winning split times and then inexplicably fall out of contention. Americann Julia Mancuso was one of the unfortunates. ‘I think the wind is swirling a lot’ said Mancuso, who ultimately finished in 23rd. ‘I felt a pretty big headwind when I was going, otherwise I felt good. It’s been a solid few days.’
Kirsten Clark ran early and in relatively calm conditions and continued to make headway in her comeback from a freak infection in her knee this past fall, finishing 22nd.  ‘I’m closer in time and that’s my thing right now’ said Clark. ‘I want to be right back up on the podium, but at the same time I know I’m skiing well and it will take time to get back into it.’

It was hard to tell if the smile frozen on Cook’s face was a result of the temperatures or another outstanding result. Intent on showing that her 10th-place result in the first race was not a fluke, Cook kept her poise and her foot on the gas. ‘It was so exciting’ bubbled Cook. ‘I still can’t imagine that I did that. I thought yesterday I had a chance because I was in a good start position, but starting 51st and moving up to eighth is so awesome. I’m so excited.”
Runner-up Berthod, a six-time podium winner over her 10-year career, was disappointed with her eighth place in the first downhill and used that for motivation today. ‘After eighth place yesterday, I was a little disappointed’ said Berthod. ‘All my training I was always in top three, so I think, ‘Oh merde.’ Today I have to ski with my head, take a good line and then you can be really fast at the finish, and that’s what I did.’ She was also doing it for the Swiss team, which hopes to rebound after a miserable last season. ‘It was bad year for the Swiss team last year, so it’s a really good day for the Swiss team that I get second. With Aufdenblatten in the top-10 too, the other countries have to be really careful because the Swiss ski girls are back.’
At the postrace press conference, third-place finisher Dorfmeister expressed her gratitude to the Lake Louise race organizers. ‘It’s great to ski here. It’s a long trip, but the races are always so good here’ said Dorfmeister, sentimental after completing her final downhill at this site. ‘I won my first race in 1995 and to be 10 years in the top is a perfect career for me.’ The record-holder for the oldest female racer to win and score a podium in downhill announced earlier that this will be her final year on the World Cup.

In a frightening moment early in the race, Jonna Mendes caught an edge at the top of the course and somersaulted into the safety netting. She quickly gave the thumbs-up sign and after getting her bearings, she was able to ski down to the finish sometime later. Always quick with a quip, Mendes joked, ‘If you are going to go out, you might as well go big.’

With another super G to go on the Lake Louise schedule, Kildow has found the means for motivation under any set of circumstances. ‘If I do well, it’s motivation to keep doing well and if I don’t do well, then it’s more motivation to be back on track. That was yesterday was for me – motivation.’

Women’s downhill results
Lake Louise, Alberta
Dec. 3, 2005

1. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:49.51
2. Sylvaine Berthod, SUI 1:49.54
3. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:49.63
4. Alexandra Meissnitzer, AUT 1:49.69
5. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:49.71
6. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT 1:50.01
7. Elena Fanchini, ITA 1:50.02
8. Stacey Cook, USA 1:50.13
9. Maria Riesch, GER 1:50.28
10. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:51.31
10. Karin Blaser, AUT 1:50.31
12. Elisabeth Goergl, AUT 1:50.37
13. Ingrid Rumpfhuber, AUT 1:50.42
14. Catherine Borghi, SUI 1:50.43
15. Nadia Fanchini, ITA 1:50.45
15. Isabelle Huber, GER 1:50.45
17. Janette Hargin, SWE 1:50.46
18. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:50.47
19. Kelly Vanderbeek, CAN 1:50.50
20. Daniela Ceccarelli, ITA 1:50.55
21. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 1:50.67
22. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:50.68
23. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:50.74
24. Katja Wirth, AUT 1:50.89
25. Tina Maze, SLO 1:50.99
26. Alexandra Coletti, ITA 1:51.24
27. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:51.28
28. Kanica Kostelic, UZB 1:51.34
29. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:51.41
30. Nike Bent, SWE 1:51.44
Other North Americans:
39. Emily Brydon, CAN 1:52.17
41. Allison Forsyth, CAN 1:52.36
42. Sherry Lawrence, CAN 1:52.41
46. Shona Rubens, CAN 1:52.79
48. Libby Ludlow, USA 1:52.96
48. Caroline Lalive, USA 1:52.98
DNF: Jonna Mendes, USA

By Hank McKee

Women’s DH, Lake Louise Dec. 3, 2005

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1. Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2. Berthod, Dynastar/Lange/Look
3. Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Meissnitzer, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
5. Goetschl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6. Obermoser, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
7. Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look
8. Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9. Riesch, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
10. Aufdenblatten, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10. Blaser, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

Women’s downhill, Lake Louise, Alberta, Dec. 3, 2005. … It is the third race of the women’s 34 race, 2 combined World Cup schedule. … The second of eight scheduled DH’s. … The second of three women’s races scheduled at Lake Louise. … The second of back-to-back DH’s.

It is the second career win for Lindsey Kildow, both in DH and both at Lake Louise. … And both on Dec. 3. … … She was fifth in the first DH the previous day. … It is the 154th U.S. World Cup win. … She joins Diann Roffe, Billy Kidd, Tyler Palmer and Kyle Rasmussen as Americans with two wins on the all-time list. … Winning margin is .03 of a second.

It is the sixth career podium for Sylvaine Berthod. … Her fifth in DH. … Her second in DH at Lake Louise (was 2nd on
Nov. 30, 2001).

It is the 54th career podium for Michaela Dorfmeister. … Her second of the season as she was second on the same hill Dec. 2.

It is the second career World Cup scoring result for Stacey Cook. … Both of them top 10 finishes in back-to-back DH’s. … She started 51st, the lone nonstop seed skier to make the top 10. … It is the 15th career scoring finish for Kelly Vanderbeek. … It is the 108th scoring result for Kirsten Clark. … Her first points of the season. … It is the 57th career scoring result for Julia Mancuso. … She has scored in all three races held to date.

Michaela Dorfmeister takes the lead in the World Cup overall standings 149-145 for Lindsey Kildow. … Elena Fanchini is third at 136. … Kildow leads the DH standings 145-140 over Dorfmeister with Fancini third at 136.

First 19 skiers are within a second of the winner. … Entire top 30 within 2 seconds. … The Austrian women lead the Nations Cup standings 661-294 over the United States. … The Swiss are 4th at 245.

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