Goggia wins second straight downhill with Cortina victory

Italy's Sofia Goggia speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill, in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, Friday, Jan.19, 2018. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

CORTINA – Italian Sofia Goggia took her first-ever home snow World Cup victory on Friday after skiing the fastest run on the Olympia delle Tofane in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Lindsey Vonn, who led both training runs heading into Friday, survived a near crash with the lead to finish in second place at 0.47 seconds off Goggia’s pace. In her first Cortina downhill, Mikaela Shiffrin produced a clean and composed run to grab the final podium spot in third, 0.84 seconds from the win.

Flat light and higher speeds than in the training runs created a challenge for the world’s best skiers. At the beginning of the race, three of the first four starters failed to complete the course.

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway produced a career-best downhill result in sixth place.

Julia Mancuso, the most decorated U.S. Olympic female alpine athlete, skied her retirement run in costume, donning a Wonder Woman suit and cape. In her 399 World Cup starts, she finished on the podium 36 times – also collecting four Olympic medals and five World Championships medals over the course of her lengthy career. Degenerative hip problems prevented her from being able to ski at the level necessary to qualify for her fifth Olympic Winter Games, so she opted to announce her retirement at the site of her first World Cup podium in 2006.

The ladies will contest another downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo on Saturday starting at 10:00 CET.

Svindal takes a unique Kitzbuehel Super-G

What a challenging day on the Streif. Hundreds of helpers were in action overnight on the race course to clear the wet snow that kept falling until late into the morning.

Quite early, the organisers made the decision to postpone the program and reschedule today’s Super-g at 13:00. They also offeredr a unique version of the Hahnenkamm Super-g with the start moved up to Mausefalle and the finish line moved up to the Europa Cup start on Oberhausberg, like yesterday in the training run for the downhill.

After the logistical challenges were figured out, everyone went into the day with an open mind and the interesting course proved to be spectacular and the athletes put on their best performances until the higher-up finish line before changing skis and freeskiing down to the original finish area.

In this unusual Super-g day, Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal laid down the fastest time with 1:30:72. Despite two wins and three additional podiums in downhill, it’s his first Top three finish in the Super-g this season. After 2016 and 2013, Svindal will collect his third “Goldene Gams” for as many wins on the Streif in Kitzbuehel.

Kjetil Jansrud, who already celebrated a win in Lake Louise and a second place in Beaver Creek in the Super-g this season, finished +0.50 behind his teammate. With this, he added to his lead in the discipline standings.

Downhill Olympic champion Matthias Mayer was not far behind, ranking third with +0.56. On year after his win in the Super-g in Kitzbuehel, he claimed his fourth podium at this race and his fourth podium this season.

Tomorrow, the downhill is scheduled to take place on the legendary Streif at 11.30. The tech skiers will then take over the hill and have a slalom race on the Ganslerhang on Sunday.