Julia Mancuso skied into 13th to post the top finish for the USA as well as her best downhill result of season Saturday in Zauchensee. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)
ALTENMARKT - ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (Jan. 11) – Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) punched her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill finish of the Olympic season with 13th to lead four U.S. Ski Team athletes into the Zauchensee top 25. Elisabeth Goergl ended a two-year downhill victory draught for Austiran women with a stunning win ahead of teammate Anna Fenninger. Sunday the women head back up the hill for the first of two World Cup super combined events.
Three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) continued to gain speed toward Sochi with 13th in Zauchensee for her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill result of the season.
Mancuso returned to the tour after a planned trip home, missing the Lienz, Austria and Bormio, Italy slalom races.
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) and Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) also finished in the top 25 with 22, 23 and 25 respectively.
Julia Ford (Holderness, NH) and Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR), both two-time U.S. downhill champions, finished 34th and 39th respectively.
Elisabeth Georgl broke a two-year downhill victory draught for Austria with the win ahead of teammate and new overall leader Anna Fenninger. World Cup downhill leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany was third.
The race was held with only one training run after Friday's session was canceled due to heavy snow.
Universal Sports Network will air the downhill at 11 a.m. ET.
The first of two World Cup super combined races will be staged Sunday with a super G as the opening run.
QUOTES Julia Mancuso We’ve skied here a lot. It’s definitely nice, but especially right now with how I’m feeling on my equipment, I would like more training runs. But racing is racing and the snow was forgiving. It was soft. It wasn’t too gnarly anywhere. It was fun.
I finally have some really good splits. I was one mistake away from being in the top ten and having a really good result, so it’s really positive. We have two more races that hopefully have good training runs that I can get feeling a lot better on my equipment and I’m definitely more positive. It was nice to go home and get a little time with my trainer and just kind of refocus and know that all the tools are there and it’s really now just about believing that I can ski well and go fast.