Tina Weirather edges Julia Mancuso for first World Cup victory
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) -- Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein secured her first World Cup victory Friday when she edged Julia Mancuso of the United States on a steep and fast course to win a super-G.
Mancuso and Tina Maze of Slovenia tied for second on the 1.42-mile Kandahar course in sunny weather. Maze, who has already clinched the season's overall title, became the first skier to make 19 podiums in one season.
Weirather is the daughter of Hanni Wenzel and Harti Weirather, who won plenty of World Cup races between them but never on the tough Kandahar course. They watched their daughter pick up her first win.
"They don't come to all the races, but I am happy that they are here. They went through a lot for me. Now we can party a little," Weirather said.
Weirather was third out of the gate and covered the course in 1 minute, 19.82 seconds to beat Mancuso and Maze by 0.12 seconds. Anna Fenninger of Austria was fourth.
Mancuso was one of those faster in the upper part, but she lost time at the bottom.
"There were some bumps, and I didn't have my rhythm in the steep section. It's hard to be perfect all the way to the finish," said Mancuso, the bronze medalist at Schladming who won silver when the championships were held on the Garmisch course two years ago. "I always want to win races, but to tie for second is not a bad thing."
With Lindsey Vonn out for the season with a knee injury, Mancuso is challenging Maze for the super-G title. Maze has 370 points and Mancuso 305.
"I want to gain points on Tina for the super-G, but I am glad I was second on the podium, even if it's sharing," Mancuso said.
Maze, who won the super-G at the world championships last month in Schladming, Austria, collected 80 points for her second place and has 1,924 points overall, taking her closer to becoming the first skier to top 2,000. There are eight more races and each win is worth 100 points.
"I have enough energy, but it's a long season and to stay focused is the toughest part," Maze said. "I haven't won a downhill this season and that's my next goal."
For Hanni Wenzel the most important thing was that her 23-year-old daughter had "come down healthy."
"She went through some tough times with her injuries," said Wenzel, a two-time Olympic champion who Austrian husband was a downhill world champion.
Wenzel, whose brother Andreas also was a successful skier, presented the winner's flowers to her daughter.
The downhill is scheduled for Saturday and another super-G on Sunday. The race Friday was a replacement for a super-G called off because of bad weather in December at Val d'Isere, France.