Mancuso second, stays in overall race
TARVISIO, Italy – Julia Mancuso is holding steady in the race for the overall World Cup trophy while her Austrian rivals continue to clinch discipline titles.Mancuso finished second in a super-combi race Friday for her eighth top-three result of the season. Austrian Nicole Hosp won the race and teammate Marlies Schild clinched the season’s super-combi title.Schild leads the overall standings with 1,112 points, Hosp is second with 1,089, Mancuso moved into third with 1,039 and Renate Goetschl – who sat out to rest her injured knees – dropped to fourth at 1,019.”I think it’s going to be a fight to the end,” said Mancuso, who is attempting to become the first American woman to win the World Cup overall title since Tamara McKinney in 1983.Mancuso, who finished second after the downhill, was pleasantly surprised with her form in the slalom.”I was a little bit scared going into the slalom, but it turned out good,” she said of her weakest discipline.Hosp skied one shortened downhill leg and one slalom run in a combined time of 2 minutes, 10.15 seconds on the Prampero course. Mancuso was next, 0.32 seconds behind. Schild was 0.33 back in third.Two more races are scheduled for the Prampero course, with a downhill Saturday and a super-G Sunday.There are only two more stops left on the World Cup circuit – next weekend in Zwiesel, Germany, and the following weekend in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.Mancuso has grown tired of discussing the overall race.”There is nothing to discuss,” U.S. women’s coach Patrick Riml said. “You cannot think two weeks in advance. You got to do your job (Friday), and Saturday, then Sunday and then next week. If she skis well, then she’s got a shot.”Mancuso almost lost control at the beginning of her downhill run, flailing her arms behind her body to regain her balance.”She made a huge mistake in the downhill. She was lucky to stay in there,” Riml said. “With that mistake, and still to be in second, with not a great performance in slalom, it was a great performance.”Mancuso managed to hold her position in the slalom despite slushy conditions. The start of the downhill was delayed 75 minutes because of rain and fog, and soft snow made it difficult for the final slalom skiers to maintain their advantages.”I thought I would just have to try and survive,” Mancuso said.Schild already clinched the season’s slalom title last weekend in Sierra Nevada, Spain. Goetschl, who clinched the super-G crown when American Lindsey Kildow ended her season because of a knee injury, can wrap up the downhill title Saturday. Hosp is leading the giant slalom ranks.World champion Anja Paerson, who led after the downhill leg, finished fourth.American Resi Stiegler finished fifth and teammate Kaylin Richardson was 11th, the best combined result of her career.”They’re good events for our team,” Riml said. “Unfortunately Lindsey is missing, because she would be in there with the others. But I think we’re in a position in a lot of disciplines.”Stiegler stood only 23rd after the downhill, then had the second fastest slalom run, despite almost losing control at one point.