Stacey Cook finished a season best fifth Friday in the first of two downhills slated for Cortina (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Jan. 24) - With just two weeks to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, two-time Olympian Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) posted her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup finish of the season with fifth in the first of two downhills slated for Cortina. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) also showed her speed with ninth and young gun Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) stormed from bib 41 to finish 15th for the first World Cup points of her career. German Maria Hoefl-Riesch won for her third victory of the season to boost her World Cup downhill and overall points lead. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 8:30 a.m. ET.
U.S. Ski Team veteran Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) arced to fifth for her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup result of the season.
It was the first of two downhill races to be contested in Cortina with a second slated for Saturday, followed by a super G Sunday.
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) continued her momentum toward the Olympics with ninth.
World Cup rookie Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) stormed through light snow to finish a career best 15th from the 41st start position.
Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) was also a season best with 17th and Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) finished inside the downhill points with 25th.
German Maria Hoefl-Riesch won for her third victory of the season to extend her downhill and overall points lead.
Overnight snow delayed the start a half hour and forced the jury to lower the race start to the top of the famed Tofana Schuss - the same location as yesterday's super G.
The U.S. Ski Team will nominate their Olympic alpine team on Jan. 26 following competitions in both Cortina and Kitzbuehel.
Universal Sports Network will air the women's downhill at 8:30 a.m. ET.
QUOTES Stacey Cook I generally do okay when there are straight shots out of the gate like that. So that was a little confidence booster to kick out of the gate, get on my skis and not have to do too much and then get into it. And then I just tried to not ski a perfect line but ski perfect body position and really attack. And it seems to have been fast.
Julia Mancuso In ski racing it's kind of like there's nothing to lose. You can't fail unless you try really hard. So we're just getting our speed back.
Jackie Wiles I'm really excited. I had some confidence going in there today after the training run. So I knew if I could just punch one in then I could be in there.