19-20 January 2019
Olympia delle Tofane - Cortina d'Ampezzo

Stuhec in the lead in the first official training

The Slovenian beats Gut and Vonn to the finish. Stuffer, Brignone and Goggia just behind the top athletes

 

Date: 26/01/2017 from 1345
Place: Cortina d'Ampezzo

The Slovenian, Ilka Stuhec, was on top form as she kicked off the first timed training session on the Olympia delle Tofane course, which is designed to show off the technique of athletes from all over the world. Stuhec, with four victories under her belt this year (one in the Combined), posted the best time with 1'38"22, ahead of the Swiss Lara Gut by only 5 hundredths of a second and the American star Lindsey Vonn by 22. Vonn’s form is looking better and better after her success in the Downhill at Garmisch-Partenkirchen last week. There is no denying the American has a special relationship with the course in Cortina, as she has already collected 11 wins there, including her sensational double victory last year.

Just behind the top three were the Italians, Verena Stuffer who came fourth, just 43 hundredths separating her from Stuhec, followed by Federica Brignone in fifth place at 61 hundredths. The next fastest time belonged to another of the favourites, the American Laurenne Ross, 94 hundredths behind the leader and, in seventh place was Sofia Goggia, 0.96 seconds off the pace.

A cheer went up and her team mates celebrated in the finish area as Julia Mancuso crossed the finish line in her comeback Ski World Cup on the Olympia course. Mancuso finished 49th, but the Turin 2006 Olympic champion is concentrating on the 2018 Winter Games in Pyengchang after a long rest from racing.

The lovely sunny day, with sun forecast for the next couple of days, provided an extra special backdrop to the training session, with all the athletes expressing their satisfaction with the perfect state of the course. Towering above the finish area was the VIP Lounge with its windows and magnificent terrace over the Ampezzo valley, affording a breathtaking 180° view of the course down to the valley.

The second and last timed training session is scheduled for Friday at 10.30 am, the same start time as Saturday’s race. The Super G on Sunday will kick off at 11.30 am.

QUOTES

Lindsey Vonn: "I felt great today and I’m happy to be back in Cortina. We’ll see what happens over the next couple of days".

Ilka Stuhec: "The course is really beautiful and today the conditions were brilliant for fast skiing. I’ll keep doing my best, we’ll just have to see how fast my run is".

Verena Stuffer: "The weather and conditions were fantastic, it’s a dream to ski in a stunning place like the Dolomites. These mountains are mine, in a sense, so I feel at home. I know the course and I’m ready for the race on Saturday: I’m going to try and relax and enjoy it".

Federica Brignone: "I tried to ski the lines I had in my mind and I really enjoyed myself. This is a positive moment for me, all I have to do is focus on my things, my supports and give it my all on Saturday and Sunday".

Julia Mancuso: "I’m thrilled to be here in Cortina. Today I had a decent session, I’m going to try and push myself a bit more tomorrow. I’ll do the very best I can".

  
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