After a three-year absence, Swiss racer Fabienne Suter returned to the top of the World Cup podium today (Jan. 8) in a super G race in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria.
Suter, third in yesterday’s downhill, made all the right moves down the 33-turn Franz Klammer course to finish with a time of one minute, 9.55 seconds. Suter’s run, the 21st of the day, was the only one good enough to bump fellow Stockli skier, Slovenian Tina Maze out of the leader’s box after she set up shop there as the tenth woman down the hill. Maze was 0.34 seconds back in second place to claim her fourth podium and third second-place finish of the season.
“To be the fastest of all for one day, that’s just great,” Suter told the Associated Press. “In the downhill, I took too many risks so I tried to do better today. But at super-G, you have only one chance after course inspection so I am very happy how things worked out.”
The win marks the fourth of Suter’s career and the first since 2009 when she won a downhill in Bansko, Bulgaria.
Just more than a week after earning her first career World Cup victory in the Lienz GS, Austrian Anna Fenninger led the home team in third, 0.74 seconds behind the leader. She has landed on the podium at all three super G races thus far this season with a second-place finish in Lake Louise and a third-place result in Beaver Creek.
It was a somewhat brief super G (2080 meters) down the technical Franz Klammer course that hadn’t seen the World Cup women since 2006.The sun shined through intermittent light snowfall at the top of the course throughout the race.
Like in yesterday’s downhill, ten U.S. woman filled the start sheet. They were once again led by Julia Mancuso (second in yesterday’s downhill) this time in eighth, 1.01 seconds off the leading pace.
“I gave the course too much respect and had a little mistake but in super G you always have to be on the limit,” said Mancuso. “It’s always good to be in the top ten. I feel like my skiing is better than that but at the same time from third place on was really close, just a couple of tenths and I was right in there.”
Laurenne Ross continued to make great strides in her comeback from a tough crash in a Lake Louise downhill in early December that inflicted several lacerations to her face. Ross recorded her second-best finish ever in 14th place. She was followed closely by teammate Leanne Smith in 15th.
“Today I came in with a little more confidence because I new I could make it down and I can still ski,” said Ross. “I came in and I tried to push the line. It’s been a really hard month but I’m really happy to be back and I’m thrilled with this weekend.”
Lindsey Vonn, winner of the first two super G races of the season, was looking to redeem a costly mistake she made at the top of yesterday’s downhill that spoiled her perfect record in speed events this season (she finished fourth yesterday). She came out of the gate strong but slipped behind Maze’s leading time in the middle of the course and finished 18th. It was her lowest finish in a World Cup super G since 2006 and the first time she’s missed the podium since 2009. Vonn has been weakened over the last several days by a stomach illness she first contracted at a World Cup race in Zagreb, Croatia.
“I definitely struggled this weekend, but I’m not going to put too much weight in it,” said Vonn. “I want to try to win both races [in Cortina]. I want to feel confident again and get back on the right track. For me it’s easy to overanalyze and say ‘why did this happen?’. I know it’s because I was sick and I’m just going to accept that and move forward and try to ski aggressively in Cortina.”
Vonn continues as the World Cup’s overall leader with 704 points. Austrian Marlies Schild stands second with 540 points ahead of Maze in third with 483.
None of the remaining U.S. racers reached the points as Stacey Cook finished 36th, Julia Ford landed 44th, Chelsea Marshall took 47th and Alice McKennis finished 48th. Kiley Staples and Brooke Wales did not finish.
The surprise of the day came from German 20-year-old Veronique Hronek who came all the way from the No. 38 bib to finish sixth for her best result ever. Her previous high was scored just yesterday in 17th. Her teammate and defending overall champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch didn’t race in either event this weekend as she fell ill after Thursday’s downhill training run.
Yesterday’s winner, Austrian Elisabeth Goergl didn’t look as sharp today in ninth place.
The women will not have to wait long for another crack at a speed race. They will now travel to Cortina d Ampezzo, Italy for a downhill Jan. 14 and a super G Jan. 15.
Images by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup super G, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, Jan. 8, 2012
1 Suter, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
4 Aufdenblatten, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Hronek, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
8 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
9 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
10 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Marker
Women’s World Cup super G, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, Jan. 8, 2012. … It is the 14th race of 40 on the women’s World Cup schedule with one cancellation (city event Munich). … It is the third of seven super G’s on the schedule. … It is the 21st Cup race hosted by Bad Kleinkirchheim. … The third super G. … US coach Chip White set the course.
It is the fourth career World Cup win for Fabienne Suter and her third in super G. … Her last win came Feb 29, 2009 in downhill at Bansko. … It is the fifth Swiss Cup win of the season all from different skiers. … It is the first of the season for a Swiss woman.
It is the 32nd career Cup podium result for Tina Maze. … her seventh in SG. … It is her fourth podium of the season, the other three all in slalom. … Those are the only podiums of the season for Slovenia.
It is the seventh career Cup podium result for Anna Fenninger. … her fifth in SG. … It is her fourth podium of the season and third in SG this season in three races.
It is the 23rd top eight in SG for Julia Mancuso. … her fifth top eight of the season. … and second in two days. … It is the second best career Cup result for Laurenne Ross, topped only by a fourth in SG at Tarviso at the end of last season. … Leanne Smith matches her eighth best career mark. … It is her fifth best career SG placing. … It is the first SG since 2009 that Lindsey Vonn has not finished on the podium.
Vonn maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 704-540 over Marlies Schild (did not race). … Maze is in third with 483pts. … Mancuso is seventh with 327pts and Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is the top Canadian in 35th with 82pts. … Vonn holds the lead of the super G standings 213-200 over Fenninger. … Suter is third with 194pts and Mancuso fourth with 194. … Gagnon leads Canadians in the list in 38th with 5pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|16||26||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:10.99||21.95|
|21||37||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:11.20||25.15|
|22||30||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:11.22||25.45|
|53||60||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG||1:15.61||92.36|
|54||58||35079||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG||1:15.66||93.12|
|Did not finish 1st run|