Montillet beats Goetschl to downhill win
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO (Italy): Olympic champion Carole Montillet won her third World Cup downhill of the season on Sunday. The Frenchwoman, who had two wins on consecutive days last month, skied down Cortina’s Olimpia delle Tofane piste in one minute 16.27 seconds, beating overall World Cup leader Renate Goetschl of Austria by 0.23 seconds. Nineteen-year-old American Lindsey Kildow celebrated the first podium place of her career with third, just 0.01 seconds behind Goetschl and 0.30 ahead of German Hilde Gerg, who won Saturday’s downhill here. The results allowed Goetschl to pull away from Swede Anja Paerson in the overall cup standings. Paerson, a technical expert new to downhill racing, picked up 10 points by finishing 21st, 1.68 seconds behind Montillet. Goetschl now leads with 869 points to Paerson’s 798 and also took the lead in the downhill cup, just five points ahead of Gerg. Paerson will look to get back in the lead next weekend with the slalom events in Maribor, Slovenia, as the battle for the overall title heats up.
Montillet, 30, has enjoyed a good run in Cortina, finishing fifth and fourth in the two super-Gs on Wednesday and Friday and third in Saturday’s downhill, held on a shortened course because of poor visibility. “This morning at the start I said to myself: ‘You have had a good week, you have got your confidence back’,” she said. “Yesterday’s podium liberated me and I didn’t feel any pressure. The visibility was better today so I was able to take risks. I am very happy; it was great skiing and everything just felt right.”
No pressure: Goetschl, who won the super-G on Friday and took second place in Saturday’s downhill, said she was delighted with her week’s work at Cortina but said she was not yet paying much attention to the battle in the overall standings. “I’m pleased with second place and with the whole week here in Cortina. I like it here, the course is perfect for me and my confidence is high. I feel great at the moment. I am just having a lot of fun and enjoying myself,” she said. “I’m not feeling any pressure even though I am in front now in the standings. There are so many things that can happen between now and the end of the season that there really is no need to start counting the points yet,” added the Austrian. Kildow, who had finished fifth on Saturday was busy calling friends and relatives on her cellphone within minutes of confirming her first podium finish. “I can’t believe it. I have been crying all the time. I couldn’t imagine finishing on the podium. After finishing fifth on Saturday I knew I could be up there in the top five but obviously with a first podium the emotions are incredible. I won’t forget this,” she said. Kirsten Clark completed a good day for the promising American team with fifth place. There were rare celebrations in the British camp too when Chimene Alcott broke into the top 10 for the first time, finishing ninth, 0.95 seconds behind Montillet and one place ahead of former World Cup downhill champion Isolde Kostner of Italy. —Reuters