Julia Mancuso wins parallel slalom in Russia | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Julia Mancuso wins parallel slalom in Russia

Tribune Staff and U.S. Ski Team report

MOSCOW, Russia – Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley ripped through a head-to-head-style parallel slalom to win under the lights in Russia for her second Audi FIS Alpine World Cup victory the second time this season.

Teammate Lindsey Vonn tacked another 60 points to her immense overall World Cup lead with a third-place finish on the 170-foot-tall, 535-foot-long course built in Luznhiki Olympic Complex as thousands of fans braved the frigid Moscow temperatures.

“This is a very unique event,” Mancuso said. “It’s an incredible hill that they built. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Russia. The hospitality has been great, the locations are awesome, it’s been a fun few weeks in Russia.”

The event, presented by Soelden, the official European Training base of the U.S. Ski Team, capped a brilliant showcase of alpine skiing in Russia, host country for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Each match featured two runs with the fastest racer from the first earning a time advantage on the second. Mancuso knocked out Vonn in the semifinal round and Austrian Mikaela Kirchgasser in the final to win.

“Kirchi (Mikaela Kirchgasser) is a great slalom skier and she was really skiing fast in her heats, so I just had to plow down those gates,” Mancuso said of the final.

Vonn said she was pleased to learn that she landed on the podium while also complimenting her teammate.

“I’m excited to be on the podium today, but I’m also really happy for Jules for winning. She skied amazing,” Vonn said. “These parallel events are really tough. You can’t think about it, you just have to go for it.”

In the men’s event, Frenchman Alexis Pinterault won as top American Ted Ligety was knocked out in the first round. The women’s World Cup now moves to Bansko, Bulgaria, while the men race in Crans Montana, Switzerland.

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