With a surprise winner, a shocking upset and a farewell to one of the World Cupâ€™s best, the womenâ€™s super G at the 2012 World Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria today (March 15) had it all.
German giant slalom specialist Viktoria Rebensburg took her first World Cup win in a speed event with a 0.18-second winning margin ahead of American Julia Mancuso in second. Franceâ€™s Marion Rolland, who earned the first World Cup podium of her career with a second-place finish in yesterdayâ€™s downhill, continued her impressive week with a third-place finish today, just three-hundredths of a second behind Mancuso.
American Lindsey Vonn had a bitter sweet day on her way to clinching her fourth title of the season (overall, downhill, super combined, super G) with
a sixth-place finish in todayâ€™s race resulting from an exciting run. A day after winning the downhill by nearly a second, Vonn charged out of the start and quickly built up a large advantage. With just the last pitch remaining, Vonn had a 1.22-second lead when she nearly missed a gate on a wide turn and was forced to make a hard correction in order to collect this seasonâ€™s super G title. Vonn raked in a total of 453 SG points through the season, having won four super G races. The title marks Vonnâ€™s 16th World Cup title and her fourth consecutive super G crystal globe.
â€œI had a really good run going, it was tough conditions it was soft again today, really warm temperatures,â€ said Vonn. â€œI had a little miscommunication with the coaches, they told me that I could go straight on the last under gate down on the bottom and I think I just had more speed than they anticipated and it was just not enough direction and unfortunately that cost me the race but I still got the super G globe so Iâ€™m happy about that.â€
It was Rebensburgâ€™s seventh career World Cup victory, all of her previous 11 podiums were in GS races. The 22-year-old couldnâ€™t believe she had held on to the best time all the way from the fifth starting position.
â€œI canâ€™t believe that I won today,â€ said Rebensburg, who is the heavy favorite to clinch the GS title on Sunday with three wins in that discipline this season. â€œI struggled a lot of times in super G, I knew that I could be fast without too big of mistakes and today everything worked out. I canâ€™t believe that I won a super G race so Iâ€™m so happy.â€
Vonn, who currently has 1948 points this season, will have two more races (giant slalom and slalom) to try to reach Austrian great Hermann Maierâ€™s record of 2000 points scored in a single World Cup season. â€œI didnâ€™t quite get the 2000 points but I still have two races left and hopefully I can still get it,â€ she said.
As in yesterdayâ€™s downhill, the sun was back out today as fans enjoyed the race in T-shirts with temperatures in the 50s and racers fought the slushy conditions on the Streicher course.
Mancuso, who won a super G this season in Garmisch, Germany and collected two other podium finishes in the discipline, also finished second in the super G standings, marking a career best ranking as she trailed Vonn by 72 points.
â€œI didnâ€™t make any mistakes, I just skied a clean run, it wasnâ€™t quite fast enough for the win and maybe there were some spots I could have pushed harder but Iâ€™m happy with where I started and where I finished,â€ said Mancuso. â€œIt was kind of a spring skiing slush cup but I think itâ€™s a really cool course.â€
Austrian Anna Fenninger (fourth today) ended the season in third in the SG standings.
In the No. 6 bib, Leannne Smith was the first of the three American starters to get to work. She recorded her best World Cup finish ever in fifth place, 0.55 seconds behind the winner. Her previous best finish was a seventh-place result in the St. Moritz downhill in January. Smith ended the season ranked 16th in the super G standings.
Todayâ€™s race was Swede star Anja Paersonâ€™s final World Cup race. The 14-year veteran announced her retirement earlier this week after an amazing career that saw 42 World Cup wins and six Olympic medals. After putting down a solid run good enough for eighth place, the 11-time world championships medalist was swarmed by champagne spraying teammates in the finish area before the whole group joined Pearson in her traditional penguin slide.
Competition at the 2012 Alpine World Cup Finals continues Friday with the team event followed by the womenâ€™s slalom on Saturday.
Images by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup super G, Schladming, Austria, March 15, 2012
1 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
2 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
3 Rolland, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
5 Smith, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
6 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
7 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
8 Paerson, Head/Head/Head
9 Curtoni, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Weirather, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Women's World Cup super G, Schladming, Austria, March 15, 2012
. ... It is the 34th race of the women's 40 race 2012 World Cup schedule with three cancellations and two races remaining. ... It is the seventh of seven scheduled super G's. ... It is the second women's Cup SG at Schladming, the last in 1988.
It is the seventh career World Cup victory for Viktoria Rebensburg
. ... her first in super G. ... It is her fourth win of the season and third of the month having swept two GS's at Ofterschwang March 2 and 3.
It is the 31st career World Cup podium placing for Julia Mancuso
. ... her 11th in super G. ... It is her sixth Cup podium of the season and third in SG. ... She won in SG at Garmisch-Partenkirchen Feb. 5.
It is the second career World Cup podium placing for Marion Rolland
and her second in two days having also placed second in downhill Wednesday. ... Her previous best Cup SG result is 12th scored at Haus Jan. 10, 2010.
Fifth is a career best World Cup result for Leanne Smith. ... Her previous best was seventh in DH at St Moritz Jan. 28. ... Her best previous SG result was eighth at Cortina Jan. 21, 2011. ... It is the 131st time Lindsey Vonn has finished in the top six of a World Cup. ... It drops her SG winning percentage to 34%.
Vonn leads the World Cup overall standings 1948-1382 over Tina Maze (seventh in race) and cannot be beaten for the title with two races remaining. ... Maria Hoefl-Riesch (17th in race) is third overall with 1195pts. ... The seasonal point record is 2000. ... Mancuso is fourth overall with 975pts. ... Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian in 20th with 333pts. ... Vonn wins the super G title 453-381 over Mancuso. ... Anna Fenninger (fourth in race) is third in the super G standings with 369pts. ... It is the 12th World Cup discipline title for Vonn, her third of the season and fourth straight in SG. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup standings 5310-3864 over the US with Italy third at 2840pts. ... Canada is tenth with 603pts. ... Austria takes the SG title by 15pts, 1026-1011 over the US.
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||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina
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