Anna Fenninger, Tina Maze, Lara Gut top training
BEAVER CREEK — The familier trio of Anna Fenninger, Tina Maze and Lara Gut finished fastest in today’s downhill training on the Raptor course.
Those names have been frequently featured atop results lists over the last few seasons, with Maze of Slovenia winning the downhill and Fenninger of Austria winning the super-G at the 2014 Olympics, and the Swiss star Gut winning both of those disciplines here in Beaver Creek at the World Championships test event in 2013. Gut has also notched four World Cup wins in speed events (downhill and super-G) this season, with Maze finding a downhill win in Lake Louise and Fenninger winning the World Championships super-G here on Tuesday.
The only other women’s World Cup racer to notch as impressive of results so far this season has been Lindsey Vonn. After missing a gate on the top part of the course today, Vonn stopped attacking and said farewell to her chances of laying down another good training run. She was fourth in Monday’s first opportunity, but today she found herself more than 2 seconds off Fenninger and Maze.
Fenninger said she also missed a gate.
“I think a lot of the girls did,” she said. “I think it was the soft snow, because when it’s hard you can make easier the turn, then it’s possible with that line but today it was not possible.”
The winner of Monday’s training, American Stacey Cook crashed and tumbled today, and didn’t finish her run. She was not available for comment but her teammates said she was doing fine.
WIND STILL A FACTOR
Laurenne Ross and Julia Mancuso and were the fastest Americans on the day, finishing in 1:48:77 and 1:48:86, respectively, for sixth and seventh. Mancuso also said the soft snow was a serious factor.
“It’s really good in turns and then it’s really bad in turns,” she said.
Ross described the conditions as windy, and the course as bally and bumpy.
“It was a lot different today than it was three days ago, and I think tomorrow it will be a lot different again, so it’s all about adapting on this hill,” she said.
Ross has taken runs on Raptor in April, November, January and February.
“It seems that February likes the winds,” Ross said today. “Hopefully those don’t come into play tomorrow.”
In Tuesday’s super-G, Vonn said the wind was definitely a factor in her run, which was good enough for the podium but not gold or silver.
“I was definitely a bit disappointed by the wind at the top part,” Vonn said Tuesday. “When you have a big event, sometimes the weather doesn’t go your way.”
Gut, who missed the podium on Tuesday, had a similar reaction to the conditions.
“This was a little bit disappointing, starting a World Championships with so much wind.”
Today Mancuso said the wind had her thinking differently about her approach.
“When you ski down it makes you a little less comfortable with what you’re doing,” Mancuso said. “You have to stay more aerodynamic and it pushes you all over the place, you don’t feel as confident to charge over the jumps and stuff … it was definitely windy the whole way down.
Friday’s downhill is scheduled for 11 a.m.