A Not So A Not So
Weather spoils some of the fun at World
Cup Finals as Maria Riesch and Ivica
Kostelic are declared overall winners
BY GARY BLACK JR.
Maria Riesch grabbed the overall globe
and title when crummy weather
cancelled the women’s giant slalom.
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Yes, racing is sup-
posed to determine World Cup final results. But this is
ski racing, and this year, conditions were the ultimate
decider. And, as is often the case with a weather event,
the results were as fickle as…well, the weather.
For the United States, the recalcitrant warm, wet sys-
tem in part cost Lindsey Vonn her chance for a coveted
fourth woman’s overall title, but the same grisly fog and
rain handed Ted Ligety his third giant slalom title. Weath-
er also gave Switzerland’s Didier Cuche his first super
G globe. In all, weather allowed four of eight scheduled
races to run — the men’s and woman’s downhills and
slaloms, if one could call them that.
The slaloms were shortened to 36 gates for the women
and 51 for the men with no second-run reset. Both took
place in conditions that were dismal at best: huge holes
for the women and very peely snow. During the men’s
race, at times fog kept spectators from seeing either the
finish line or the big screen. It was miserable.
The most controversial decision was the cancellation of
the final ladies’ giant slalom, a move that gave the over-
all title to Maria Riesch. Germany’s top skier had led
the World Cup most of the way. It was a season where
the overall race drew to within three points in Riesch’s
favor. And so it stayed, the closest final since Anja Paer-
son edged out Janica Kostelic by three points in 2005.
Vonn was the impetuous diva, but there was really lit-
tle choice for officials — though her head coach, Alex
Hoedlmoser, said he thought the organizers should
have tried harder. Saying she was “devastated” Vonn
made little effort to conceal her frustration despite tak-
ing home three more globes for the downhill, super G
and combined titles.
SkiRacing.com APRIL 7, 2011 | 25