ahead by 0.41 seconds after the first run. This proved enough of a lead for the
victory, although Italian Manuela Moelgg’s second run (she was 12th after the
first) was 1.19 seconds faster than Hoelzl’s, the fastest of the day and good for
second place. Moelgg missed the victory, which would have been her first, by
0.05 seconds. Third place went to young French racer Taina Barioz, whose
only other World Cup top- 10 finishes previous to Lienz were last season — a
fourth in Are and fifth in Cortina.
Nearly every other racer in the top 10 from the first run lost a huge amount
of speed in the middle section of the second run, through which Moelgg was
one of few to accelerate.
“In the middle, it’s steep and then flat,” Moelgg said. “I [skied] well the two
gates before that flat so that’s the secret.”
McJames experienced the excitement of standing in the leader’s box for several minutes during the final run of the race, in which she finished 20th after
“I really had to throw it down to get in there,” she said.
The first racer to replace her was Schleper, who ended up 13th.
“There were a couple spots where I got a little late and behind so I had to
throw some spray to stay on track,” Schleper said. “If I can just clean those up,
trust myself a little bit more and not let my skis go sideways, I think I can pop
into the top 10 or even top five.”
The Italians (considered the “home team” because of Lienz’s location in the
Tyrolean region very close to Italy) were the true heroes of the day. They had
six racers — including Aspen bronze winner Federica Brignone narrowly
missing another podium in fourth and Denise Karbon, returning for the first
time after a month off following minor knee surgery in 17th — finishing in
the top 20.
Wearing a temporary sling and feeling almost certain that her arm was bro-
ken, Vonn went to the hospital after the first run but was diagnosed with just
a deep bone bruise. Though in a significant amount of pain, in true Vonn form
she stuffed the arm into a splint (“the World Championships part two,” she
said, referring to her 2009 thumb-slicing incident) and was back in the start
gate the following day for the slalom.