Would the race run, would the fog hold on to force the organisers to try and fit the race back into the schedule. The Super G was supposed to start at 11am local time yet even at 10am there was little prospect of a race happening as a thick cloud hung over the middle section of the course. With the race in the last chance saloon for it to happen before darkness started to move it, the clouds suddenly decided they had a better party to go and ruin and off they went. We had a race that started at almost three in the afternoon. Seven runners down and another delay: A course slider had fallen over and needed to be helicoptered off! It was now touch and go as to time enough to hold a race…
But a race we did have and Tina Maze emerged from the clouds to claim her countries first speed World Crown. Maze explained after the race that she had felt confident and focused no matter how long the race was delayed and postponed. The TV cameras tried to keep up with her as she jogged and jumped about at the start as the cameras tried to fill the screens for the producers. Maze put in a commanding performance to take the lead from Lara Gut who had rocketed in to the lead from bib 13.
The early story in the race had been the performance of another Slovenian, Ilka Stuhec. Stuhec had come down from bib 4 to take the lead and then stayed there until Gut had bettered the time. The Swiss have been having a wretched season yet at one point in the race with Gut leading, they also held second as Fabienne Suter come down into second. This did not last long as Maze came down and took the lead. Then the fun started…
Next up was Lindsey Vonn and at the first split she was ahead of Maze. We had a race on our hands. By the second split she was just over a tenth behind. Just after this split was a large jump and Vonn went off it and on landing her right knee buckled in and she cartwheeled into the gate. It was clear to see that something was wrong as she lay on the snow. After the race the US Ski team released a statement explaining the extent of her injuries.
After the delay for Vonn to be airlifted to the local hospital, Maria Hoefl-Riesch started and soon was off course having slid on her inside, recovered and then missed a gate. Anna Fenninger was next up and she looked to be heading for a decent result when, like Tina Weireither earlier on, she inexplicably missed a gate over a blind knoll. With the racers having inspected early in the morning in the fog some felt that the time difference could have caused this. Mancuso almost made the same mistake but recovered in time and was able to make it to the finish and capture the bronze medal.
With the weather closing in, it was a race to get all the racers down. Sofia Goggia from Italy and bib 33 almost upset the apple cart to make the podium but was just five hundredths behind Mancuso. With the minimum number of racers in the finish and having started for the race to count, the organisers called a halt to proceedings with the light failing and the weather closing in. With Vonn having crashed many were asking whether the race should have been run at all.
Chemmy Alcott came down into 24th spot as the weather deteriorated.
The 2013 World Championships are off and running – next up is the Men’s Super G. With poor weather still on the horizon, expect delays again on Wednesday!