Paerson sweeps through Park City
Kristina Koznick had trouble near the end of her second run Saturday and settled reluctantly for 10th place Saturday in the first World Cup slalom of the new season, while Anja Paerson of Sweden registered her second victory in 24 hours at the Chevy Truck America’s Opening at Park City Mountain Resort.
ESPN will broadcast coverage of the race Dec. 11 at noon MST.
Paerson, who won Friday’s giant slalom at Park City by more than 1.4 seconds, captured the slalom – the 13th victory of her career – by 1.14 seconds. Her winning time was 1:33.74 with Swiss star Sonja Nef second (1:34.88).
Koznick, coming back from a hip injury that sidelined her for the season opener five weeks ago in Soelden, Austria, was third after the first run on CB’s despite flat light and tough visibility.
“The light was flat on the first run and then the sun was coming in and out on the second run,” she said.
Looking for the seventh victory of her World Cup career, Koznick finished in 1:36.07 with Julia Mancuso, of Olympic Valley, Calif., 27th and Resi Stiegler, of Jackson Hole, Wyo., 28th. Vail’s Sarah Schleper was a DNF in her first run.
“I’m disappointed because I skied really well in the second run. I know I did,” said Koznick. “I kinda just ran out of gas. I haven’t been able to workout the last six weeks or so with my hip.
“I threw my skis up there (to slow down). I got more out of ’em than I was expecting … and I knew I lost a lot of my time, but I told myself “You better finish this race.’ I’m disappointed making that kind of a big mistake but finishing 10th with a mistake like that – I’ll take it for the first slalom of the season.”
The women head to Lake Louise, Alberta, next weekend for two downhills and a super-G.
Walchhofer wins in Lake Louise
Austrian Michael Walchhofer won the opening downhill of the men’s World Cup season Saturday with Canadian Erik Guay grabbing second place.
After a snowstorm raged into the night and left more than of a foot on the mountain, and with temperatures in the upper 20s, Daron Rahlves had the top U.S. finish, coming in 18th and Bode Miller was 30th.
Outdoor Life Network will broadcast coverage of the race today at 3 p.m. MST.
Walchhofer, skiing sixth in the soft snow, had a time of 1:51.16 with Guay runnerup in 1:51.85.
Rahlves finished in a time of 1:52.63 and Miller, slapped by gusting winds in mid-race, came down in 1:53.03. Bryon Friedman, of Park City, was a near-miss for his first World Cup points, finishing 32nd (1:53.16) while Kevin Francis, of Bend, Ore., and Wade Bishop of Winter Park raced in their first World Cup event; Francis was 48th and Bishop 54th.
“It wasn’t great all around,” said U.S. men’s downhill/super-G head coach John McBride. “We had wind issues – Bode got hit – and we probably had 18 inches of snow, at least, before the storm stopped … and it’s blowing and snowing again now (late Saturday). The organizers did a good job, no question, but the course was definitely softer than we’d trained and it certainly got a lot rougher.
“But ultimately we didn’t do what we needed to do. We’ve got to get back into it, stay focused … and get the job done.”
The men will race super-G Sunday. Along with Rahlves and Miller, U.S. starters will include Jake Fiala, of Frisco, Scott Macartney of Squaw Valley, Calif., Thomas Vonn, of Newburgh, N.Y., Friedman and defending Nor-Am super-G champion Scott Macartney of Redmond, Wash.