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France Wins Nations Skiing Team Event, USA Bumped in Quarters
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Ski Racing Magazine News Service) - La Marseillaise will play over a World Championship podium this evening for the first time since 2001 when the late Regine Cavagnoud won the super G at St Anton. The French won the team event with a full set of heroics on a parallel GS course down the Kandahar track defeating the prohibitive favorite Austrians on a tie breaker and .28 of a second. Sweden crushed Italy 4-0 for the bronze medal.
The French squad had Taina Barioz, Thomas Fanara, Tessa Worley and Cyprien Richard working through the parallel ladder, but in the final it was Anemone Marmottan with a critical .01 margin over Austrian Michael Kirchgasser decided by a desperate stretch to the finish timer and Richards' 25.41 second time over Philipp Schoerghofer that spelled the difference. While Austrian Romed Baumann won the last run of the day over Fanara, his time of 25.69 broke the 2-2 tie in favor of the tri-color.
Italy handed the U.S. an early exit from the competition but could not compare with the Swedes in the third place run off. Anja Paerson defeated Federica Brignone, Matts Olsson was faster than Giovanni Borsotti, Maria Pietilae-Holmner dispatched Johanna Schnarf and Hans Olsson got Massimiliano Blardone at the finish for a clean sweep worth bronze.
Austria was stuggling most of the day, suriving a first match tie breaker with Croatia after Sofia Novoselic produced the upset of the day by out speeding Marlies Schild and Benjamin Raich had exited the course in his run with Natko Zrncic-Dim. Kirchgasser and Bauman got the two points back and Bauman's time was fastest to salvage their chance for a medal.
The U.S. squad made up of Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Julia Mancuso and Sarah Schelper was given a bye in the first round of competition based on nations' cup standings but then was promptly excused in the quarter finals by Team Italy. Only Miller, the nephew of former pro parallel greats Bubba and Mike Kenney, was able to win a his heat against Cristian Deville. Miller grabbed his first World Cup podium of the season in a similar parallel event down the road in Munich in early January.
Despite an early exit, the American athletes enjoyed themselves as they compared notes and strategized between runs while being shuttled back to the start on four-wheel ATVs and snow machines.
“It’s a really fun event, it’s good to be with the guys,” said Mancuso who took advantage of a few more quick laps on the GS hill but fell behind Johanna Schnarf in her heat. “It’s one of those events where anything can happen so in that ways it’s cool. Winning a team event is nothing like winning an individual event but it’s still fun.”
“I think it’s a cool event, I like the format,” said Ligety, the U.S. anchor man after finishing 0.39 seconds behind Massimiliano Blardone. “I just made to really big mistakes and that is what cost me. It’s fun to watch and fun to race but our scheduling in ski racing is so tight as it is that throwing this in the middle of a championship is always hard.”
The Canadians, represented by siblings Mike and Britt Janyk, Marie-Michele Ganong and Paul Stutz were also dropped early. losing to the Croatians with one tie, one win and tow heat losses.
“I think it was great, you got all the teams out here and it’s a little more chilled out and relaxed but you still want to go fast and move ahead,” said Britt Janyk, who shared a tied heat with Tea Palic. “You see the other person but you really just have to focus on your course and your skiing and that is how you pull ahead.”
For more details incluing results visit SkiRacing.com.
This content is courtesy of Ski Racing Magazine,