Vonn 10th, Mancuso 24th at World Cup Race

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Lindsey Vonn managed to expand her lead in the overall World Cup standings on Sunday despite finishing 10th in a giant slalom in which Kathrin Zettel led an Austrian sweep.

With Maria Riesch skiing out in the first run and Anja Paerson
placing 18th after nearly veering off course a few gates from the
finish, Vonn gained points on both of her direct rivals.

"I guess I was ahead of the right people," U.S. skier said.
"It definitely wasn't the day I was really hoping for, but points
are points and it was a tough course, a lot of people went out. It
was important that I got to the finish today."

Vonn leads the overall standings with 882 points, followed by
Riesch with 810 and Paerson with 775.

Zettel, who was second after the opening run on the Olympia
delle Tofane course, won in 2 minutes, 47.10 seconds, 1.39 ahead
Michaela Kirchgasser and 1.71 better than Elisabeth Goergl.

A blizzard that dumped more than 4 feet of snow on Cortina
earlier in the week made for soft and precarious conditions.

"I took some wider turns so as not to put too much pressure on
the skis," Zettel said. "I didn't always choose the most direct
line."

In Saturday's downhill, the top Austrian was Ingrid Rumpfhuber
in 12th place. It marked the first time after 121 women's downhills
that skiing's "Wunderteam" failed to place a skier in the top 10.

"It really woke us up," Zettel said. "There was a lot of
teamwork involved today and everything worked to perfection. We
talked a lot with the coaches and ski men after yesterday and we
really focused."

Both runs were held in sunny and clear conditions.

Vonn was fifth after the opening run, but struggled in the
second leg.

"I felt like it was going OK, then on the bottom I just got a
little late and I think I dumped some speed for the flats," she
said. "It was an incredibly turny course and definitely not suited
for my style."

Vonn finished fourth in a GS in Aspen, Colo., earlier this
season, but has never cracked the top three in her weakest
discipline.

"That's definitely still a big goal," Vonn said.

Olympic giant slalom champion Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley,
Calif., finished 24th.

Paerson raced despite bruising her left knee in Saturday's
downhill.

"She still feels pain, but it's OK," Swedish team spokesman
Jung Lind said.

Zettel increased her lead at every interval and has now won
three of the six giant slalom races this season. She moved one
point ahead of Tanja Poutiainen at the top of the discipline
standings, 369-368.

Goergl led the opening run and was on pace for victory until she
fell at the next to last gate in the second leg. She managed to get
back up and preserve the Austrian sweep.

"I took too direct of a line there," Goergl said. "I was
disappointed but also happy that I was able to secure third."

Saturday's downhill marked a low-point for an Austrian team that
has already weathered the loss to injury of its top two skiers this
season - Nicole Hosp and Marlies Schild.

Zettel is the only Austrian woman to win this season.

"The whole season has been tough," Goergl said. "We've had a
lot of injuries and the coaches have done a good job of keeping us
focused."

A super-G has been rescheduled for Monday.

"It's nice to have a GS before, to get in the mode of the turns
and thinking faster," Vonn said. "Downhill is like an autobahn.
I'm psyched that we're having another race."


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