Bloom can’t be beaten |

Bloom can’t be beaten

USSA reports

SAUZE D’OULX, Italy – World Cup champion Jeremy Bloom made it a record-tying six consecutive moguls victories Friday night, edging teammate and Olympic medalist Travis Mayer on the 2006 Olympic moguls course as U.S. men filled three of the top five places.

”There’s always a touch of bittersweet in something like this,” said U.S. moguls head coach Donnie St. Pierre. ”But it was a great competition and it’s understatement to say it, but Jeremy’s obviously skiing with a lot of confidence … and the judges like what they saw.”

Bloom, who clinched his second World Cup moguls title earlier this month, received 27.02 points for his final run, which included a 720 (double rotation) with cross and an off-axis D-spin. Mayer finished with 26.61 points on his off-axis D-spin and basic 720, double-rotation. Toby Dawson of Vail, Colo., made it three Americans in the top five, finishing fifth at 25.60.

Bloom tied former Russian moguls skier Sergei Shupletsov, who won the last event of the 1994 season and the first five moguls competitions of the 1995 season. Newly inducted U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame member Donna Weinbrecht won six or more in a row three times, including eight straight in the 1991 season; overall, Weinbrecht won 46 World Cup contests en route to five World Cup titles.

In addition, Travis Cabral of South Lake Tahoe was ninth and Nate Roberts of Park City 12th.

With one World Cup moguls contest remaining before World Championships March 17-20 in Ruka, Finland, Bloom has 740 points to 444 for Roberts in second place and Mayer is fourth, Cabral fifth and Dawson seventh.

Defending Olympic and world champion Kari Traa of Norway won the women’s event with 25.86 points to 25.14 for Canadian Stephanie St. Pierre. Top U.S. skiers were Jillian Vogtli in eighth and Michelle Roark in ninth.

Mancuso equals World Cup best

At Are, Sweden, World Championships medalist Julia Mancuso of Tahoe City equaled the best World Cup result of her career Sunday, finishing fourth in a giant slalom behind surprise winner Maria Jose Rienda Contreras of Spain. It was Spain’s first World Cup victory since 1991.

Rienda Contreras had the fastest second run to win in 2 minutes, 4.68 seconds with first-run leader Nicole Hosp of Austria in second place at 2:05.26. Mancuso’s time was 2:05.61 – fourth-hundredths away from the podium as national favorite Anja Paerson was third in 2:05.57.

“It was fun. I’ve been skiing well lately,” Mancuso said, “and I skied like I’ve been skiing in training. I just skied relaxed.”

On Saturday, Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister won a World Cup super-G on what will be the 2007 World Championships course, while Lindsey Kildow of Vail, Colo., was seventh, leading three U.S. women into the top 20.

Dorfmeister, the 2003 super-G world champion, had a time of 1:07.53 with teammate Alexandra Meissnitzer second in 1:07.98. Kildow’s finished in 1:08.26 with Mancuso, bronze medalist in super-G at the recent World Alpine Ski Championships in Italy, finishing 12th in 1:08.69. Caroline Lalive tied for 19th and Kirsten Clark was 27th. Jonna Mendes of South Lake Tahoe was 43rd.

The women race next weekend in San Sicario, Italy, with a downhill, super-G and one-day combined mixing a shortened downhill and one run of slalom.

Bode extends World Cup lead

At Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Christoph Gruber made it three straight wins for Austrian racers in Garmisch speed events Sunday, winning a World Cup super-G, but Bode Miller further boosted his points lead over Benjamin Raich and reclaimed the super-G lead, too.

In a race where the top three skiers were separated by an eye-blink four-hundredths of a second, Gruber, who won on the Kandahar course of the Zugspitze in 2001, finished in 1:18.18. Swiss Didier Defago was second in 1:18.19 and Canadian Francois Bourque completed the podium in 1:18.22.

Miller, who had the fastest time through the top two intervals, was timed in 1:18.39 and Daron Rahlves of Truckee finished in 1:18.44. Miller earned 50 points for fourth place while Raich, his only challenger for the overall World Cup title, got 26 ffor 10th. With eight races remaining, Miller has 1,253 points to 1,062 for Raich.

Earlier in the weekend, Miller was third in downhill No. 1, while Rahlves was fifth. They were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the second downhill on Saturday.

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