Holaus wins women’s super G | AspenTimes.com

Holaus wins women’s super G

Andrew Dampf
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Austria's Maria Holaus speeds down the the 2.340-kilometer (1.45-mile) Olympia delle Tofane course on her way to win a women's ski World Cup super-G event, in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy ” Maria Holaus of Austria won a sunny super G on Sunday to claim her first World Cup victory while Julia Mancuso of the United States finished second.

Holaus covered the melting Olympia delle Tofane course in 1 minute, 24.63 seconds. Mancuso finished 0.23 behind, and overall World Cup leader Nicole Hosp of Austria was third.

Emily Brydon of Canada finished fourth and downhill winner Lindsey Vonn of the United States was fifth.

“I’m so close, only two-hundredths from the podium,” Vonn said. “The earlier skiers definitely had an advantage. Maybe I didn’t have a light enough touch on the snow.”

The 24-year-old Holaus is one of the top young speed specialists on the Austrian “Wunderteam.” Her development was slowed when she lost four years of racing due to three knee injuries.

She was the first skier on the course and benefited as the warm conditions softened and slowed the snow for the race favorites.

“I was very lucky with my No. 1 bib, No. 1 was the best number for today,” Holaus said. “It got warmer and warmer.”

The temperature at the finish was near 50 degrees.

Mancuso entered the weekend with a streak of three straight top-three finishes in Cortina, but finished seventh in Saturday’s downhill.

“I broke my Cortina podium streak, but I was excited for the super G,” said the Californian, who now has six career top-three finishes here. “It’s always fun in Cortina, it’s almost like a (giant slalom) with all the turns.”

Holaus’ previous best performance was a third-place finish in a downhill in San Sicario, Italy, last season. In the super G, she had not finished higher than her ninth-place result, also in San Sicario a year ago.

Holaus roomed with Hosp at Austria’s renowned ski school Stams for four years and always thought her first victory would come in downhill.

“The super G was nearly faster than the downhill,” Holaus said. “There were more turns but it was very fast. It was good for a downhiller.”

Holaus finished 17th in Saturday’s downhill, which Hosp skipped.

“I wanted to concentrate on super G training and I got an extra two days to train,” Hosp said. “It was nice to have a little break. I think it was a good decision.”

Hosp holds a 759-683 lead on Vonn in the overall standings. Mancuso moved up from sixth to third overall with 639 points.

For now, Mancuso has other goals.

“I’m still trying to win a race this year, I’m going for that first,” said Mancuso, who has six top-three finishes but no wins this season.

Renate Goetschl, the Austrian who holds a record 10 wins in Cortina, was faster than Holaus at the final checkpoint but lost time with a mistake on the even warmer bottom section and finished seventh.

“I didn’t see a gate in time and I had to go uphill a little bit on the flattest part of the course,” Goetschl said.

Triple world champion Anja Paerson finished 16th and maintained a slim 151-143 lead on Martina Schild in the super G standings.

Another super G is scheduled for Monday on the Tofane.

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