Goetschl leads downhill training | AspenTimes.com

Goetschl leads downhill training

Andrew Dampf
The Associated Press

U.S. racer Julia Mancuso speeds down the course Thursday during training for Saturday's World Cup women's downhill, in San Sicario, Italy. Mancuso clocked the ninth fastest time. (Alessandro Trovati/AP)

Aspen, CO Colorado

SAN SICARIO, Italy ” Renate Goetschl led a women’s World Cup downhill training session Thursday, and criticized the Turin Olympics course as too easy.

Goetschl covered the 1.9-mile Fraiteve Olympique course ” the longest on the women’s circuit ” in 1 minute, 56.18 seconds. Austrian teammate Ingrid Rumpfhuber was second, 0.64 seconds behind and Martina Schild of Switzerland was third, 0.91 back.

Overall World Cup leader Marlies Schild was fifth and American Julia Mancuso was ninth.

Two years ago in an Olympic test event, skiers complained that the course was like a highway ” too wide open and without enough terrain to make it challenging. Organizers made landscape changes to the course before the Olympics but Goetschl said it was still too easy.

“You cannot change a hill,” she said. “It’s more how you are in the position and it’s not so much about skiing. I like the difficult downhills more.”

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The jumps are smaller again this year.

“It’s easier than the Olympics,” Goetschl said. “It’s also new snow, so it couldn’t be too fast. You have a lot of grip.”

Goetschl won the last two downhills and leads the discipline standings. Schild leads the overall standings with 881 points, followed by Nicole Hosp with 828 and Mancuso with 794.

Thursday’s session was the only training after Wednesday’s session was canceled because of a storm that dumped about a foot of snow on the course. It snowed Thursday, causing a 30-minute delay and making visibility difficult on the upper part of the course.

In the downhill standings, Goetschl leads with 425 points, followed by Mancuso with 346 and American Lindsey Kildow with 340. Kildow was 17th Thursday.

Petra Haltmayr of Germany fell and was taken down on a sled because of a left ankle injury.

A super-G race is scheduled for Friday, followed by the downhill Saturday and another super-G on Sunday.

Two-time overall champion Anja Paerson is skipping the weekend to prepare for the World Championships that begin next week in Are, Sweden.

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