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The award for best location name goes to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Germany. Self-explanatory.
The expected and the unexpected went down this week during the final events of the Alpine season. The names we learned to love during the Olympics were out in full force, plus a few that perhaps we had missed. The rivalry spotlight got redirected to Lindsey Vonn versus Marie Riesch of Germany and the [non]race for the overall title. Julia Mancuso continued to ski strong post Olympics and Crans-Montana, skiing into fifth place for the downhill, only her second time inside the top ten in the past two years. Junior downhill champion Jeromine Geroudet posted a respectable time in her first World Cup race, winning applause from field leaders Vonn, Riesch and Anja Paerson.
And although prior to claiming her third overall World Cup title Vonn was heard to say that “She’s always on my tail.. Anything’s still possible, nothing’s over until it’s over: Just keep fighting and hopefully I can do it.” Closest contender for the title, Marie Riesch laughed it off and cut to the chase saying, “I don’t think that she really believes it,” but Riesch certainly gave Vonn a run for her money through the entire competition, including the downhill final in which she bested Vonn by .48.. which– as Jimmy Fallon noted– is a lot. It must have been the excellent zebra-striped speed suit that Riesch and the other German ladies rock. A commentator referred to her as “the big woman, the iron maiden of Germany.” He did.
In the end, Vonn took home the coveted crystal globe, her third consecutive overall title. She also clinched the globes for downhill, super G and Combined. Riesch took the slalom season title, and fellow German teammate Kathrin Hoelzl battled it out with Kathrin Zettel of Austria for the Giant Slalom, on a course that was eating people alive. All in all it looks like Lindsey Vonn’s raging game-face at the gate has a winning element to it.
Words To Bumble favorite Julia Mancuso’s strong showing included ninth rank in overall downhill after a fifth place finish in the final during which commentators marveled over her Olympic comeback and her lingerie line. It was a little weird– they got completed sidetracked talking about Kiss My Tiara during Nadja Styger’s run (following directly after Mancuso), waxing poetic about the “free-flowing, free-spirited Julia Mancuso”. Commentators Steve Porino and Todd Brooker also illuminated viewers as to Mancuso’s nickname– Midas– with “maybe not the golden touch but the silver touch… Her ability to perform on the big stage is unbelievable. She has something to prove… she wanted the spotlight in Whistler and she got it!” As the pulled ahead of Italian Johanna Schnarf’s leading time they cried, “The momentum she started in Whistler, Canada– still there!”
In addition to her high downhill placement, Mancuso ended the season ranked 16th in the super G (despite crashing in the final), 22nd in the combined and 28th with Vonn for the GS. Looking forward to seeing her continue the comeback tour on next season’s World Cup.
And now for reasons that I am upset: there is an epic Nations Team Event with skiers from both the men’s and women’s teams of each contending country. It is a parallel giant slalom race, 16 round elimination format, four skiers per heat. Sounds awesomely epic right?
Yes. But is Universal Sports airing it? Not so far as I can tell. Not OK. Not. OK. Plus now the results are up and video appears to be no where in existence. This investigation is ongoing and unhappy.
UPDATE: Plus we now find out that Mancuso will be competing on the Bec de Rosses at Verbier as a wild card entry next weekend for the 15th annual Nissan Xtreme close to the Freeride World Tour.