VAL D’ISERE, France — Leanne Smith survived a bumpy Val d’Isere downhill Saturday to lead the U.S. Ski Team with a tie for 14th on a track that bounced eight racers off course, including four Americans.
Lindsey Vonn, in her first race in two weeks, was among the non finishers, along with Truckee’s Stacey Cook, as well as Laurenne Ross and Julia Ford. Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley finished 21st.
Fresh snow covered the Oreiller-Killy speed track, canceling Friday’s training run and creating a very rattling race surface in sections for Saturday’s race.
Vonn was rattled in the midsection of the course, pulled out and skied to the finish, while Cook was in the podium hunt when the washboard snow sent her sailing into the nets. Cook skied away without injury.
Swiss Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden took the win for the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup victory of her career.
Shiffrin eighth in GS
Slalom World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth Sunday in Val d’Isere to close the first half of the women’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom season.
In 12th after the first run, Shiffrin produced a flawless final run to jump four spots for the sixth giant slalom top 10 of her young career.
Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein won and posted her sixth World Cup podium of the Olympic winter, adding 100 points to her current overall lead over second place finisher Lara Gut of Switzerland. It was her first win in GS.
Megan McJames finished 26th-place finish, while Mancuso was 24th after the first run but skied off course early in the final. Resi Stiegler did not qualify for the final.