Winter briefs: Fisher takes 7th in rainy halfpipe to close Worlds
AROSA, Switzerland – Breckenridge snowboarder Steve Fisher was seventh in a shortened halfpipe contest Saturday to lead U.S. Snowboarding in the final day of the 2007 FIS Snowboard World Championships. Also making the 12-man final was Scotty Lago, who finished 12th.As rains continue to melt a deteriorating halfpipe, organizers reverted to the old FIS format where only the top six men and top three women automatically move into finals after their first qualifying run – riders in 7-25 after their first qualifying run for men and 4-15 for women then received a second run.”It was a huge challenge and a big letdown,” said U.S. head coach Mike Jankowski, “but they had to do it in order to get the contest off – we just did what we could. Sometimes it takes two runs to dial it in, but the harsh reality is that most of the team didn’t even get a second chance.”Tricia Byrnes was 13th and 2006 Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler of Aspen finished 20th as only six women moved into the finals. Mathieu Crepel of France, who became the big air World Champion on Friday, also won the men’s halfpipe with a score of 46.7, while Swiss rider Manuela Laura Pesko took the women’s title with 43.1 pointsWarm weather had been a factor all week, forcing riders to train early in the morning each day with difficult light conditions. Qualifying for the finals also started early at 8:00 a.m., and according to Jankowski, it was difficult to avoid holes in the pipe walls.”We literally had three hours of training on this pipe and we’ve been here a week, but it was amazing that they could get this contest off at all and we’re glad they did,” said Jankowski. “It’s hard, Tommy (Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, CA) barely missed the final by a couple of tenths, Gretchen was riding great all week in training, but she landed in a hole on her qualifying run and didn’t get a second shot. Fisher and Scotty rode well and got in there, but unfortunately a podium didn’t happen. We’ve just got to shake this off, put it behind us and head into X Games with a clear head.”The Winter X Games open on Jan. 25 and run for three days in Aspen. Fisher is scheduled to be among those competing for pipe gold.Runner-up Mancuso stays hot at Cortina downhillCORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – U.S. Ski Team star Julia Mancuso finished second in a World Cup downhill Saturday, churning through softening snow as temperatures climbed into the mid-40s for her fourth podium in a week.Austrian Renate Goetschl collected her 10th victory in Cortina, this time in 1:31.14. Mancuso’s time was 1:31.31 as she reached her fourth consecutive podium; after finishing third (behind Goetschl) in a DH a week ago, she won a super combined event last Sunday in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, and took the super G Friday in Cortina, one of the toughest courses on the women’s circuit.Also for the U.S., Kirsten Clark was 15th with Stacey Cook 18th over the 2.64K course. Lindsey Kildow had the lead by .11 at the first interval, but then went down on the upper part of the course, righted herself and then skied out. Macartney leads U.S. in Val d’Isere DH; Bode, Nyman are DNFsVAL D’ISERE, France – Scott Macartney was 19th and Marco Sullivan took 20th Saturday in a World Cup downhill while Bode Miller and Steven Nyman failed to finish.In a race shifted from Chamonix because of a lack of snow, Macartney’s time was 1:57.54 with Sullivan one-hundredth of a second behind his teammate on the 3.15K Oreiller Killy speed run. Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin of France won with a time of 1:56.37. Canadians Erik Guay and Manuel Osborne-Paradis completed the podium.”Nice day for France and Canada, but tough day, some bad luck for our guys,” said U.S. head coach Phil McNichol. “I’m surprised they pulled it off with such good conditions. Nice, sunny day and right around zero (Celsius, 32 F.) after soggy, rainy day yesterday and no second training run … but they did a good job.”2007 FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSArosa, SUI – Jan. 20, 2007Halpipe FinalsMen (12 make final)1. Mathieu Crepel, France, 46.72. Kazuhiro Kokubo, Japan, 46.63. Brad Martin, Canada, 43.34. Janne Korpi, Finland, 42.55. Antti Autti, Finland, 41.4-7. Steve Fisher, Breckenridge, CO, 40.412. Scotty Lago, Seabrook, NH, 27.1-13. Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, CA48. Michael Goldschmidt, Stratton Mountain, VT–Women (six make final)1. Manuela Laura Pesko, Switzerland, 43.12. Soko Yamaoka, Japan, 43.03. Paulina Ligocka, Poland, 42.94. Shiho, Nakashima, Japan, 38.45. Xu Chen, China, 34.3-13. Tricia Byrnes, Stratton Mountain, VT20. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO28. Clair Bidez, Minturn, CO31 Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton Mountain, VTALPINE WOMEN’S WORLD CUPCortina d’Ampezzo, ITA – Jan. 20, 2007Women’s Downhill1. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:31.132. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:31.313. Marie Marchand-Arvier, France, 1:31.744. Daniela Merighetti, Italy, 1:31.825. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:31.84-15. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, ME, 1:32.6719. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:32.8835. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, WA, 1:33.8041. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:34.74-DNF:Lindsey Kildow, Vail, COALPINE MEN’S WORLD CUPVal d’Isere, FRA – Jan. 20, 2007(Moved from Chamonix, FRA)Men’s Downhill1. Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin, France, 1:56.372. Erik Guay, Canada, 1:56.633. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Canada, 1:56.694. Yannick Bertrand, France, 1:56.745. Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:56.77-19. Scott Macartney, Redmond, WA, 1:57.5420. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 1:57.5538. JJ Johnson, Park City, UT, 1:59.3341. Chris Beckmann, Guilderland, NY, 1:59.7243. Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID, 1:59.95-DNF:Steven Nyman, Provo, UT; Bode Miller, Bretton Woods, NH
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