Weather hindered, but did not cancel Sunday's alpine combined. (Getty Images/AFP-Dimitar Dilkoff)
BANSKO, Bulgaria (Mar. 1, 2015)—After two days of delays and canceled races, the race organizers at Bansko were determined to complete the Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined. But the race was marred by tough snow and fog in the super G portion, which caused many racers trouble. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was the top American finisher in 12th place. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) did not start the slalom run.
With over an hour delay and a few course holds for the rolling fog, the super G course was rough for many. However, Anna Fenninger of Austria had a fast run—taking first in the super G and never let it go. Tina Maze of Slovenia—always a favorite in the combined—was second and Kathrin Zettel of Austria was third.
Mancuso and Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) both threw down strong super G attempts, finishing eighth and 12th, respectively. But neither is a slalom specialist, and they struggled to find time in the slalom. Ross was the second American finisher, taking 17th place. Young Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) was 26th.
Watch Lindsey Vonn's super G run.
Vonn’s super G run looked fast on the top, but when she descended into a dense cloud of fog, the audience lost track of her. When she returned to daylight, she was over a second off the lead. Although commentators blamed it on the fog—which was certainly part of the issue—she also said the snow was breaking away underneath her and she could not generate speed.
“I love racing here,” said Vonn after her run. “There’re always a lot of people; the atmosphere is great. It’s just unfortunate that the conditions have been so bad this week. Nothing anyone can do to change it, but it’s definitely frustrating for the athletes.”
The women make up Friday’s canceled super G on Monday. The race kicks off at 4:00 a.m. EST and will be streamed live on Universal Sports.
With many hours of weather-related delays in Bansko, Lindsey Vonn said there were good-natured snowball fights at the start.
Tina Maze still holds the overall World Cup lead—64 points ahead of Anna Fenninger. Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) is in third with Vonn in fourth.
This is the only alpine combined on the World Cup circuit of the 2014/2015 season. There was one during World Championships, as well.
Universal Sports Network will air the alpine combined on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST.
QUOTES Lindsey Vonn I love racing here. There’re always a lot of people; the atmosphere is great. It’s just unfortunate that the conditions have been so bad this week. Nothing anyone can do to change it, but it’s definitely frustrating for the athletes.
I just want to make sure I’m saving my body and my knees going forward because I want to race in the next Olympics. Today my goal was just to get to the bottom and use it as training for tomorrow. Going forward, I’m looking to try and win the downhill and super G titles. Those are big goals for me this season.