Alpine

Wiles First Career Podium In Altenmarkt Downhill

by
USSA
2017-01-15 06:50
 

ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (JAN. 15, 2017) – Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) skied to her first career Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium, finishing third, in Sunday’s much anticipated downhill.

After three days of weather delays, the women ran an early morning downhill training run Sunday, and then headed back to the start for the real deal. In Sunday’s race, four Americans stacked into the top 16 with Wiles leading the way in third. Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) was 12th, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) 13th and Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) was 16th. Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, CA) was 29th, Alice McKennis (New Castle, CO) was 34th and Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH) was 38th.

The track at Altenmarkt proved faster for the later starters as Austria’s Christine Scheyer took her first career World Cup win coming from the 25th start position. Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was second from the 17th start position. Wiles, whose previous career-best World Cup downhill result was 15th at Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2014, came from the 26th start position. For Wiles though, Sunday’s podium came at just the right time ahead of three weeks of speed events leading into the World Championships next month in Switzerland.

“To come down in third is a dream come true,” said Wiles, who took some time off over the holidays to recharge. “I’ve had a tough start to the season and seen so many expectations falling flat, so I really needed this and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This is definitely going to help my confidence moving forward. Hopefully I’ll have some good skiing coming,” she added.

Wiles
Jackie Wiles took her career-first World Cup podium Sunday in Austria. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)

Following two injuries and 322 days since her last race, Vonn was stoked not only to be to back racing, but for her teammate Wiles, who is sponsored by the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

Vonn
Lindsey Vonn returned to racing Sunday in Austria, finishing 12th. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)

“I’m really happy for Jackie,” said Vonn. “I felt like I was skiing pretty well, just not quite on the limit yet. For me, it’s not really a matter of the results, I’m just happy to be racing again. Of course I have higher expectations for myself, but considering the condition and the fact that we had a training run and a race in the same day, I think it was pretty good.”


Lindsey Vonn stands with Wiles, who is sponsored by her foundation. (Getty Images/AFP-Robert Jaeger)

Switzerland’s Lara Gut finished fourth to cut into Mikaela Shiffrin’s overall World Cup lead. Shiffrin, who did not race Sunday, holds the lead with 1,008 points. Gut is second with 693, and Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, who was fifth Sunday, is third overall with 584 points. Stuhec continues to lead the overall World Cup downhill standings with 345 points.

Up next, the women head to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for downhill Saturday, Jan. 21 and super G Sunday, Jan. 22.


Wiles celebrates her win with her team. (Erich Spiess)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jackie Wiles scored her first career World Cup podium, finishing third, in Sunday’s downhill.
  • Wiles' previous best World Cup downhill result was 15th in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2014. Her previous best World Cup result was 10th in super G at Lake Louise in December.
  • Austria’s Christine Scheyer took her first career World Cup win Sunday.
  • Lindsey Vonn finished 13th in her first race back on the World Cup circuit following 322 days away from racing.
  • Five Americans finished in the top 30 Sunday.
  • Road to Aspen: Switzerland’s Lara Gut finished fourth to cut into Mikaela Shiffrin’s overall World Cup lead. Shiffrin, who did not race Sunday, holds the lead with 1,008 points. Gut is second with 693, and Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, who was fifth Sunday, is third overall with 584 points. Stuhec continues to lead the overall World Cup downhill standings with 345 points.

 

QUOTES
Jackie Wiles
I’m at a loss for words. To come down in third is a dream come true. I’ve had a tough start to the season and seen so many expectations falling flat, so I really needed this and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

It was definitely a unique day coming in not having run the course. But I just tried to stay positive and take each run as it is and try to attack hard for the race run.

This is definitely going to help my confidence moving forward. Hopefully I’ll have some good skiing coming.

Lindsey Vonn
I felt like I was skiing pretty well, just not quite on the limit yet. For me, it’s not really a matter of the results, I’m just happy to be racing again. Of course I have higher expectations for myself, but considering the condition and the fact that we had a training run and a race in the same day, I think it was pretty good.

I’m really happy for Jackie. It’s a really great weekend being back. Skiing fast makes me smile and that’s really all that matters.

BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (times EST)
Sunday, Jan. 15
6:00 p.m. – Men's slalom and women's downhill, Wengen and Altenmarkt - Universal HD

RESULTS
Women’s Downhill