Laurenne Ross raced to 20th in the only Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super combined to be held prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)
ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (Jan. 12) – Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) picked up the speed Sunday with 20th in the only women’s super combined to be staged prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Skiing through a thick patch of fog in the opening super G, Ross was 24th in the first run, but the weather cleared for the final and allowed Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada to capture the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup victory of her career. The race will be broadcast at 11 a.m. ET on Universal Sports Network.
Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) led the U.S. Ski Team with 20th Sunday in the only Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super combined to be held before the Olympics.
Ross skied through a bank of fog on the lower part of the opening super G landing 24th before hopping a few slots in the slalom final. It was her best finish of the season.
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was in third until a mistake on the lower part of the super G caused her to miss a gate.
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) and Julia Ford (Holderness, NH) also missed gates in the opening super G.
Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon won the slalom and the race for the first World Cup win of her career.
The race will broadcast at 11 a.m. ET on Universal Sports Network.
A night slalom will be contested Tuesday in nearby Flachau, Austria featuring discipline leader MIkaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO)
QUOTES Chip WhIte, women's speed Head Coach It wasn't a bad day for Laurenne, but she knows she's capable of a lot more speed. And Julia was right in there. She was .06 out of the lead when she made a mistake and went out. I'm really pleased with what Julia was able to accomplish this weekend. Things are moving in a very positive direction with her.
There isn't any one thing I can say is slowing us down right now. There's a lot of factors in ski racing you need to produce good results. If you look at all the major nations - Austria, Switzerland - they all go through rough patches. We're coming off one of the best season's in history so there's a lot of expectation on this team for results. But the only expectation I have is for them to be committed to working hard and staying focused.
I'm seeing great skiing from these athletes in training and great skiing in sections of the course. We'll put it all together. I believe in this group. I've always said, it's hard to get to the top, but it's a lot more difficult to stay there.