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Val d'Isere: Michaela Dorfmeister wins super G; six North Americans in top 10

Val d’Isere: Michaela Dorfmeister wins super G; six North Americans in top 10Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria won the World Cup super G at Val d’Isere on Sunday, a race in which six North Americans broke the top 10. Skies were sunny and clear, a day after snow and wind had nearly led to the cancellation of the women’s downhill, which resulted in a historic one-two finish for the U.S. Ski Team.

Dorfmeister won the super G in 1 minute, 17:59 seconds, beating her teammate Alexandra Meissnitzer by 49 hundredths of a second. Canada’s Emily Brydon was third, another seven hundies back from Meissnitzer.

Rounding out the North American bloc in the top 10 were Lindsey Kildow (tied for fourth), Kelly Vanderbeek (sixth), Julia Mancuso (seventh), Kirsten Clark (eighth) and Genevieve Simard (ninth).

‘We did awesome’ said Kildow, who won the previous day’s downhill. ‘It was a really tight race, but we’re all in there, so it’s awesome. I think everyone’s skiing well. Clarkie, I’m really psyched for her. She skied so well, with so much confidence.’

Clark, who suffered from a post-operative knee infection earlier this fall, was pleased with her run but wants to get more training in the upcoming weeks. (See below for more on Clark.)

Caroline Lalive, still flying high from a relieving podium finish the day before, appeared to have trouble with her ski pole at the start and wound up 33rd. Click here for more on Lalive’s second-place finish.

While the women were racing in Val d’Isere, France, the men were in Alta Badia, Italy, where home-crowd favorite Max Blardone won, American Daron Rahlves was fourth and Bode Miller did not finish the first run of what is said to be one of the most difficult giant slaloms on the men’s tour.

Other North American finishes in Val d’Isere were Allison Forsyth (16th), Libby Ludlow (21st), Bryna McCarty (26th), Lalive (33rd), Stacey Cook (37th), Shona Rubens (38th) and Sherry Lawrence (53rd).

Clark on the mend
Kirsten Clark is working her way back to the podium after some health troubles this fall that kept her from getting the training she needed.

“I’m definitely psyched with my super G,” said the Mainer after finishing eighth. “With the amount of skiing I’ve had I’m able to charge and really look for it, but in downhill I’m still trying to get back into it and get my confidence going.”

An infection in her leg kept Clark off snow during the crucial prep months of September and October. “I’m feeling pretty strong,” she said. “Not 100 percent yet, but I’m just taking each day and getting the confidence.”

In Saturday’s downhill, Clarkie said her problem leg was stiff because bad weather had prevented her from getting a proper warm up in the morning.

Clark is in the running for one of the four spots the women’s team has for each speed event at the Olympics. “We have a little bit of a break from speed races, so I’ll get some good training in, and hopefully in January come back and be back on the podium,” she said.

‘To come back after her injury and be so good is amazing’ said Kildow. ‘I give her props for that.’

Oh Canada!
The Canadian team made some emotional celebrations in the finish area, having placed four racers in the top 16. For Brydon it was the first time ever on a super G podium, although she was third in the San Sicario combined last year and third in a St. Moritz downhill way back in 2001.

‘She’s got skills beyond what we can take credit for’ said Rob Boyd, the former Crazy Canuck who now coaches the Canadian women’s team. ‘A lot of it came from her, inside, knowing herself and what she’s capable of.’

Boyd says the team is doing well in super G, and needs to ‘pull up to this level’ in downhill too. He says the team has been doing more technical training than speed.

Dorfmeister on the way out after this season
Michaela Dorfmeister is ready to hang them up after she gets through this season. ‘I’m finished. I enjoy the last season now and then its over’ she said. ‘I think it’s a nice life.’

There are just a couple goals left to tackle.

‘The goals are a medal at the Olympics and the World Cup in the downhill’ said Dorfmeister, standing near the podium she’d just climbed for the 22nd time in her long career. ‘It’s so hard making a medal at the Olympics so you can be happy with a bronze as well as a gold but gold is very special.’

She and her boyfriend have built a home in Austria, midway between Linz and Vienna. She said it is ecologically efficient, using geothermal energy for heat.

Austrian women’s head coach Herbert Mandl said that he’ll be sorry to see Dorfmeister go. ‘But I think she’s made up her decision and it’s good to have a real good season till the end’ he said. ‘I wish her the best for the future.’

What to watch for this week on the World Cup
From here the women will travel to Spindleruv Mlyn, in the Czech Republic, for a pair of races on Wednesday (giant slalom) and Thursday (slalom). Those will be the first World Cup races ever held in the Czech Republic, a country that won a surprise world championship slalom medal last year….Meanwhile the men, who just completed their race series in Italy, travel to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for their own pair of races on Wednesday (giant slalom) and Thursday (slalom)…After that, the World Cup takes a Christmas holiday.

Women’s Super G
Val d’Isere, France
Dec. 18, 2005

1. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:17.59
2. Alexandra Meissnitzer, AUT 1:18.08
3. Emily Brydon, CAN 1:18.15
4. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:18.26
4. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:18.26
6. Kelly Vanderbeek, CAN 1:18.28
7. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:18.45
8. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:18.48
9. Genevieve Simard, CAN 1:18.52
10. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:18.54
11. Katja Wirth, AUT 1:18.58
12. Sylvaine Berthod, SUI 1:18.61
13. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:18.64
14. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:18.71
15. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 1:18.72
16. Allison Forsyth, CAN 1:18.78
17. Chimene Alcott, GBR 1:18.85
17. Nadia Fanchini, ITA 1:18.85
19. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:18.89
20. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT 1:18.89
20. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT 1:18.90
21. Libby Ludlow, USA 1:18.91
22. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:18.92
22. Silvia Berger, AUT 1:18.92
24. Martina Ertl-Renz, GER 1:19.00
25. Lucia Recchia, ITA 1:19.04
26. Bryna McCarty, USA 1:19.07
27. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:19.09
28. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, SWE 1:19.20
29. Ingrid Rumpfhuber, AUT 1:19.23
29. Tina Maze, SLO 1:19.23
other North Americans:
33. Caroline Lalive, USA 1:19.42
37. Stacey Cook, USA 1:19.80
38. Shona Rubens, CAN 1:19.83
53. Sherry Lawrence, CAN 1:20.98

By Hank McKee

Women’s SG, Val d’Isere, Dec. 18, 2005
Skier, skis/boots/bindings 1. Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 2. Meissnitzer, Volkl/Fischer/Marker 3. Brydon, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 4. Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 4. Aufdenblatten, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 6. Vanderbeek, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker 7. Mancuso, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 8. Clark, Fischer/Salomon/Marker 9. Simard, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 10. Montillet-Carles, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Women’s Super G, Val d’Isere, Dec. 18, 2005. … It is the ninth race of the women’s 34 race, 2 combined World Cup schedule. … It is the third of eight scheduled SG’s. … The final race of two for the women at Val d’Isere.

It is the 22nd career World Cup win for Michaela Dorfmeister. … Her eighth in SG. … It is her first win of the season. … But her fifth podium of th
e season. … It is her sixth Val d’Isere podium and second win, the first in GS in 1999.

It is the 42nd career podium for Alexandra Meissnitzer. … Her fourth this season to go along with a pair of fourths. … It is her eighth career podium at Val d’Isere. … It is the fourth 1-2 finish for Austria this season.

It is the third career podium for Emily Brydon, all of them third place finishes. … She was also third in DH at St Moritz Dec. 16, 2000 and in combined at Sansicario Feb. 27, 2005. … It is her fourth finish of the season, the next best an 11 at Aspen SG Dec. 19.

It is the sixth top seven finish of the season for Lindsey Kilow. … It is her best finish outside the two wins in DH. … Fourth matches her fourth best SG result. … It is a career best placing for Kelly Vanderbeek. … Best previous was a seventh at St Moritz Dec. 21, 2004. …Her best four results are in SG. … It is the second best SG result of Julia Mancuso’s career, the best a fifth at Altenmarkt Dec. 11, 2004. … It is the 33rd career top 10 finish for Kirsten Clark. … The third this season, all of them in SG. … Eighth is her best result at Val d’Isere since a sixth Dec. 13, 2002. … Ninth matches Genevieve Simard’s 10th best career result. … It matches her second best result this season. … It is easily her best result at Val d’Isere. … Sixteenth is the second best SG result of Allison Forsyth’s career and season. … She was 15th at Lake Louise SG Dec. 5. … She was one of two non-first seed skier to finish in the top 20 of the race … It is the 16th time Libby Ludlow has finished in the top 21 of a World Cup race. … third time this season. … It is the 18th scoring result of Bryna McCarty’s career and second of the season. … Canada and the U.S. had not combined to post six finishers in the top 10 of a World Cup race since Feb. 2, 1970 in SL at Abetone: 2. Judy Nagel USA, 6. Betsy Clifford, CAN, 7. Kiki Cutter USA, 8. Rosi Fortna USA, 9. Patty Boydstun USA, 10. Julie Wolcott, USA.

Michaela Dorfmeister extends the World Cup overall standings lead over teammate Alexandra Meissmitzer to 466-400. … Lindsey Kilow is third in the standings with 372pts. … Dorfmeister leads Meissnitzer in the super G standings 240-230 with Nadia Stygerin third at 157. … Lindsey Kildow is fifth on the SG list with 126pts and Kirsten Clark sixth at 113. Canadians Genevieve Simard and Emily Brydon hold the next two positions respectively. … Winning margin just a hundredth less than a half second. … Yet top 11 within a second of first and all 30 within two seconds. … 17th place separated from 22nd by seventh hundredths…. There was just one DNF.

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