|ASPEN, Colo. (Dec. 8) - Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) skied to fourth Saturday in the first women's World Cup downhill in Aspen in 20 years. Postponed a day because of heavy snow, the Audi Aspen Winternational race eventually was halted by the jury after 37 racers because of fog on the course. Canadian Britt Janyk won. WCSN.com will provide webcasting Sunday night at 9 ET."We had very challenging conditions, and I'm really pleased with Lindsey, for sure, but the way all of our girls raced. They stuck their nose in there and skied well," U.S. Head Coach Patrick Riml said. "To be fourth in these conditions was excellent."|
More than a foot of snow Friday forced the 24-hour pushback in the downhill, the first in this fabled ski community since March 5, 1988. Overall, Aspen was walloped by nearly three feet of snow from Thursday night until predawn Saturday. Because of the snow, organizers dropped the scheduled start to what normally would be a super G start for the 2.6K run.
Janyk's winning time was 1:14.17 with Austrian Marlies Schild second in 1:14.59. Renate Goetschl, who was second to Vonn a week ago at Lake Louise in the first DH of the season, took third (1:14.63), five-hundredths of a second up on Vonn.
The abbreviated race found three other U.S. women in the top 30: Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was 16th, Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 20th and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) 24th. The race was halted because of fog after 37 racers.
According to World Cup Tour Manager Atle Skaardal, the competition jury has the responsibility of determining if a race should continue and if the results should be official. The jury made the call to stop based on fog and low visibility, but that the results should be official. Two racers crashed during the race. Skaardal reviewed the TV tapes and determined they were well outside the standard race line.
Vonn had led the two downhill training runs during the week. But it was a different course she faced on Saturday.
"The Aspen workers did an awesome job in working on the course to make it happen, but it was really tough. There was just so much snow. I had a pretty bumpy ride because there was a lot of deep snow off to the side. It was just a totally different course than what we trained."
Riml echoed Vonn. "It definitely was not easy. The organizers did a helluva job to try to make this work under such challenging conditions. Truthfully, I was a little surprised - happy but surprised - they were able to get the race in. It was so difficult to get the snow removed and there was so much in the flats."
The women are scheduled for a slalom Sunday. The U.S. Ski Team will have five starters - Vonn, Mancuso, Stiegler, Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) and Hailey Duke (Boise, ID). WCSN.com will provide live webcasting, starting at noon ET.
After the slalom, the women return to Europe. They are scheduled for a downhill and super G Dec. 15-16 in St. Moritz, Switzerland - two races which were moved from Val d'Isere, France.
AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Audi Aspen Winternational
Aspen, CO - Dec. 8 2007
Women's Downhill (Stopped after 37 by fog)
1. Britt Janyk, Canada, 1:14.17
2. Marlies Schild, Austria, 1:14.59
3. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:14.63
4. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:14.68
5. Martina Schild, Switzerland, 1:14.70
16. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:15.63
20. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:15.81
24. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:16.35
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Michael Bradley Photography