Kildow second in St. Moritz super-G
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Vail’s Lindsey Kildow, who opened the season with a downhill victory and a podium in super-G, continued her hot streak Tuesday, finishing second in a super-G on the 2003 World Championships course. Kildow’s runner-up finish to Germany’s Hilde Gerg was the best result for the American team which had four skiers break into the top 30.Gerg won in 1 minute, 14.95 seconds, while Kildow finished in 1:15.32. Germany’s Maria Riesch, making a stunning comeback from injury, was third in 1:15.40. Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs) was 23rd with Bryna McCarty (Concord, Vt.) tied for 25th and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, Calif.) tied for 28th. “My (preseason) training went well. I haven’t trained speed before in summer, so that’s helped,” Kildow said. “It’s been a progression of results. Last year I had some good results but they didn’t come until late.”Kildow shook off some pre-race jitters because the women hadn’t had a speed run since their second training run in Val d’Isere, France, last Thursday. Snow wiped out the third training run Friday and both downhills on the weekend.The jitters were also normal for a super-G run, since in super-G, racers don’t train on the course – they just inspect it and then go.”I thought I skied pretty well,” Kildow said. “I had one mistake in the middle section but, all in all, it went pretty well. I was a little nervous because we hadn’t raced in Val d’Isere, so that was disappointing.”I was a little antsy in anticipation of what we were gonna do. But the snow was perfect – totally buffed and a sunny sky.” Kildow skied well through the bottom section, which gave other racers problems, but said she lost some speed in the section because she took too straight a line.”It was one of those days where conditions were really perfect – dry, cold, aggressive snow,” head speed coach Alex Hoedlmoser said. ” The thing is, in those conditions everybody’s attacking. Some people just back off a little. Not our girls (today) because they were going for it. Today, you had to ski at the limit and Lindsey did that very well. It was awesome.”
‘Wilde Hilde’Gerg was pleased to finally win a race on the course that has given her nothing but fits.Tuesday’s victory was her second this season and first at the posh Swiss resort.Known as “Wilde Hilde” by German fans, Gerg also vaulted into the top 15 on the all-time victories list, moving ahead of former Austrian technical specialist Anita Wachter, and equaling Croatian sensation Janica Kostelic.”It’s a big satisfaction to win my 20th World Cup victory here,” Gerg said. “I’ve had such bad luck here in the past. It’s a big win for me. I defeated the best girls and I defeated the hill.”The Engiadina course had often foiled Gerg.At the world championships in 2003, she finished a distant 20th in the super-G and a disappointing 14th in the downhill because of windy conditions on the altitude course.In the downhill last year, Renate Goetschl edged her into second place at the last moment. In 2001, Gerg had been leading a super-G when suddenly the clouds opened up to allow the sun in, speeding up the course conditions long enough for then little-known Karen Putzer to win. Gerg ended up fifth.The German veteran, who won World Cup super-G titles in 1997 and 2002, moved into the lead of the event standings with 176 points. Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister is second with 170, and Kildow is third with 160.
Even though she did not compete in the race, Tanja Poutiainen held her lead in the overall standings with 441 points. Anja Paerson, who was 13th, is second with 413. Kostelic, who finished 16th, is third (398).One mistakeKildow said the victory slipped away because of the tight line on the bottom of the course. It was a small mistake, but enough of an error to give up her lead to Gerg.”Coming into the last section I made a few mistakes. I went too straight and lost speed,” Kildow said. “For the most part my run was good except that mistake. Barring that one mistake, I would have been first place.”Other U.S. skiers also had trouble carrying speed all the way through the course”McCarty did as good job at the jump where I was standing, but she couldn’t carry all her speed into the last part or she would have been better,” Hoedlmoser said. “And Jonna skied pretty well on the top, but she had a little problem after the jump where she caught an edge going into that last portion of the course and she lost speed.”The women run giant slalom today before taking a break for Christmas.Women’s super-G results
1. Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:14.952. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:15.323. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:15.404. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:15.425. Lucia Recchia, Italy, 1:15.49U.S. results23. Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1:16.4525T. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 1:16.6428T. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 1:1:16.71
47. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 1:17.2050. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, Wyo., 1:17.3651. Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif., 1:17.40Did not finish:Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, Wash.The Associated Press contributed to this report