Julia Mancuso, shown here racing last winter in Are, finished 20th to lead the U.S. Ski Team in the last giant slalom before before World Cup Finals. (Getty Images/AFP - Jonathan Nackstrand)
ARE, Sweden (March 7) - Olympic medalists Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) finished 20th and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) 24th in the last Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women's giant slalom prior to the World Cup Finals. Rain and high winds forced the organizers to lower the start for each run, cutting at least 15 seconds off the run times. Austrian Anna Fenninger won for the second straight day to move into the overall World Cup points lead and jump within 14 points of giant slalom leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden. A slalom featuring Shiffrin, the current World Cup leader in the discipline, will be contested Saturday to close competition in Are.
Olympic medalists Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) finished 20th and 24th in the last Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women's giant slalom before the March 12-16 World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Shiffrin, who has over 500 World Cup points and is currently sixth in the giant slalom standings, is the only American woman qualified to race giant slalom at Finals.
Austrian Anna Fenninger won for the second straight day to move into the World Cup overall lead and cut Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby's advantage in the giant slalom standings to 14 points.
Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg finshed second, followed by Vikarby in a race where the start was lowered for both runs due to rain and high winds.
A slalom will close competition in Are Saturday featuring Shiffrin, the Olympic gold medalist and current World Cup leader in the discipline, and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY). Mancuso will not start in favor of preparing for Monday's downhill training run in Lenzerheide.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin Both first runs yesterday and today were actually really good; I just made a huge mistake in each. In the second runs I was just slow. So I’m just hoping that I can get it under control so I ski fast and mistake free, then I can ski fast both runs.
I’ve been feeling pretty good since the Olympics. I took a little bit of a break. I went to New York for some media, then came back and had a couple days off and then did some training. My slalom feels good and feels comfortable to me, so I’m excited to get back on my skis.