tough conditions, telling reporters at her arrival press conference
that she simply goes into to every course looking for whatever it
will give her. This chill attitude is a natural fit for the self-assured,
relaxed surfer, who divides her time among Hawaii, Lake Tahoe
and cruising the World Cup tour in a VW bus.
This year’s trip to the bitter cold Bavarian Alps presented different challenges. All week, during the downhill training runs, racers
were forced to wear insulating tape or face masks to protect from
the sub-zero temperatures. Racers were happy with the surface
left for them by the men a week before.
Downhill day was teammate Lindsey Vonn’s time to shine (see
page 21). Mancuso fought the line, tying Austrian Anna Fenninger
Super G day was just as frosty. Mancuso hid her face behind
bright pink tape but was still recognized by a strong contingent
of U.S. supporters who made their way to the race hill from the
nearby American Army base.
Racing got off to a fast start when Lichtenstein’s Tina Weirather,
the first woman on the course, put down a run none of the next 15
racers could come within 0.34 seconds of.
In the No. 17 bib, Mancuso hung the tips of her skis out of the
start house as one of the early top-ranked super G skiers. She
hardly broke her tuck down the entire 1.25-mile course, building
on her lead the whole way down the technical course that eventually claimed 14 DNFs, including super G ace Vonn.
“It was very difficult, I really couldn’t see much, but that was what
you had to do — you had to go for it,” said Mancuso. “You had to
go fast and not care where you are. I like to see — it’s better when
it’s sunny — but it gives me an advantage, because I know I can
perform in difficult conditions.”
With 316 World Cup starts under her belt, Mancuso is experienced, healthy and gunning for the top of the podium this season.
“At this point in my career, I really want to win,” said Mancuso af-
ter the race. “I go into every race with that attitude and I knew that
today — just like the other super G’s — you have to put it all on the
line. You can’t hold back at all if you want to win a super G.”
Austrian Anna Fenninger would be the only other racer to chal-
lenge Mancuso, 0.13 seconds back. Weirather repeated her re-
sults of the previous day’s downhill in third as her best season ever
rolled on and her father, Austrian great Harti Weirather, cheered
from the stands.
The delay apparently took its toll on Vonn, who started to look off-balance with a bobble about 30 seconds into her run. Another 30
seconds later, Vonn’s skis hooked up as she cut a tight right-hand
turn a little too close and she missed the following gate. It was the
first time Vonn, the winningest female super G skier in World Cup
history, had failed to finish a super G since Dec. 2008 ( 24 starts).
Vonn wasn’t rattled by the rare miscue. “I’m not sad or disappointed,” she said. “Yesterday was an amazing day and I’m really
proud of the way I’m skiing right now.”
Mancuso celebrates her first win of the season in the Garmisch super G. SkiRacing.com FEBRUARY 13, 2012 | 15