Kostner wins Super-G

Italy's Isolde Kostner charged to victory in the women's super-G in Val d'Isere today, becoming the only woman with two victories this season.

Italy's Isolde Kostner charged to victory in the women's super-G in Val d'Isere today, becoming the only woman with two victories this season.

The 1996 and 1997 world super-G champion aggressively attacked the sun-drenched Oreiller-Killy course, crossing in 1 minute, 19.81 seconds to collect her seventh World Cup victory and establish herself as a top contender for the this season's overall crown.

"Now I know I have a chance at the World Cup overall title," said Kostner, who also won a downhill and placed third in a super-G in Lake Louise. "My win here shows me I can.

"Generally I don't do very well at Val d'Isere so I am a bit surprised I did so well," she said. "But it was a fast course with wide turns and it suited my style."

Kostner, who has climbed the podium 11 times in the super-G throughout her career, finished a slim .07 ahead of Germany's Hilde Gerg, who has been repeatedly thwarted this season in her bid for a victory.

Gerg, who also finished runner-up in both the Lake Louise downhill and super-G, appeared poised to collect Germany's first win of the season with her time of 1:19.88 until Kostner, the very next racer, relegated her to second with her own scorching run.

"Well at least I'm consistent," shrugged Gerg. "But I've lost a lot of points in those races for only a few 100ths of a second.

"My goal is to win the overall title this season and in the end those few points may cost me."

Swedish veteran Pernilla Wiberg ended a streak of disappointing performances this season, placing third in 1:20.14.

"I needed this result," said Wiberg, who is competing in her 11th season on the World Cup circuit. "Up to now I've been skiing like a grandmother.

"The problem, I think, is that all was going so well for me that I probably sat on my laurels a bit."

Sylviane Berthod of Switzerland finished fourth in 1:20.29, while Renate Goetschl produced the fastest Austrian time, crossing in 1:20.31.

France's Regine Cavagnoud satisfied the home crowd, finishing a respectable eighth despite massive bruising on her right hip sustained in a training crash the previous day.

While Hermann Maier has reigned over the men's World Cup circuit, winning five of the six races he's entered this season, the women arrived at the famous French resort with no predominant skier or country, the seven previous races producing seven different winners.

"There is no super-champion who is dominating the women's field this season," said Kostner. "It's very close.

"Hilde Gerg is probably my fiercest rival in the speed events but in the technical disciplines there are a lot of girls who will build up a lot of points."

As a result of the tight competition, the overall lead has been passed around repeatedly.

Last weekend in Serre Chevalier, the lead changed hands three time in as many days.

Kostner had arrived at Serre Chevalier leading the standings, but was soon overtaken by Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister, the winner of Saturday's giant slalom.

A day later, after winning Sunday's slalom, 17-year-old Croatian sensation Janica Kostelic took her turn at the top of the rankings.

But Kostner's victory in the super-G has once again vaulted her to the top of the rankings where she leads with 310 points.

"I think there are four or five girls who can really go for the title," said Gerg, who leads the super-G standings with Kostner. "It won't be enough to ski in just two disciplines.

"If I want a chance I'll have to ski better in the technical events."

Results of Wednesday's super-G:

1, Isolde Kostner, Italy, 1 minute, 19.81 seconds.2, Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:19.88.3, Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 1:20.14.4, Sylviane Berthod, Switzerland, 1:20.29.5, Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:20.31.6, Brigitte Obermoser, Austria, 1:20.40.7, Mojca Suhadolc, Slovenia, 1:20.42.8, Regine Cavagnoud, France, 1:20.47.9, Tanja Schneider, Austria, 1:20.49.10, Regina Haeusl, Germany, 1:20.59.11, Corinne Rey-Bellet, Switzerland, 1:20.60.(tied) Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:20.60.13, Karen Putzer, Italy, 1:20.67.14, Melanie Turgeon, Canada, 1:20.95.15, Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:21.02.16, Melanie Suchet, France, 1:21.16.17, Alessandra Merlin, Italy, 1:21.20.18, Merete Fjeldavlie, Norway, 1:21.21.19, Eveline Rohregger, Austra, 1:21.23.20, Stefanie Schuster, Austria, 1:21.28.21, Bibiana Perez, Italy, 1:21.33.(tied) Andrine Flemmen, Norway, 1:21.33.23, Petra Haltmayer, Germany, 1:21.41.24, Christiane Mitterwallner, Austria, 1:21.51.25, Patrizia Bassis, Italy, 1:21.55.26, Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 1:21.56.(tied) Silvia Berger, Austria, 1:21.56.28, Martina Ertl, Germany, 1:21.73.29, Spela Bracun, Slovenia, 1:21.80.30, Kristine Kristiansen, Norway, 1:21.81.31, Elena Tagliabue, Italy, 1:21.84.32, Daniela Ceccarelli, Italy, 1:21.85.33, Anja Kalan, Slovenia, 1:21.93.34, Allison Forsyth, Canada, 1:21.94.(tied) Sibylle Brauner, Germany, 1:21.94.36, Marianne Brechu, France, 1:22.02.37, Leatitia Dalloz, France, 1:22.04.38, Jonna Mendes, United States, 1:22.21.39, Gro Kvinlog, Norway, 1:22.31.40, Ingeborg Helen Marken, Norway, 1:22.32.41, Katia Santus, Italy, 1:22.38.42, Caroline Lalive, United States, 1:22.40.43, Jeanette Collenberg, Switzerland, 1:22.42.(tied) Anne Marie Lefrancois, Canada, 1:22.42.(tied) Kirsten L. Clark, United States, 1:22.42.46, Warwara Zelenskaja, Russia, 1:22.62.47, Monika Tschirky, Switzerland, 1:22.64.48, Sarah Schleper, United States, 1:22.73.49, Romina Dei Cas, Italy, 1:22.77.50, Marianna Salchinger, Austria, 1:22.82.51, Celine Daetwyler, Switzerland, 1:23.32.52, Doris Goetzenbrucker, Austria, 1:24.10.53, Lucie Hrstkova, Czech Republic, 1:24.11.54, Nathalie Robert, France, 1:24.26.

Did Not StartSimone Behringer, Germany; Leila Piccard, France.

Did Not FinishNadia Styger, Switzerland; Fujiko Sekino, France; Emily Brydon, Canada; Olesja Alieva, Russia; Kjersti Bjorn-Roli, United States; Jeanette Hargin, Sweden.

World Cup standings after the women's second super-G of the season (after eight events):

1, Isolde Kostner, Italy, 310 points.2, Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 302.3, Renate Goetschl, Austria, 287.4, Hilde Gerg, Germany, 256.5, Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 242.6, Mojca Suhadolc, Slovenia, 221.7, Regine Cavagnoud, France, 220.8, Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 192.9, Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 172.10, Anita Wachter, Austria, 158.11, Trine Bakke, Norway, 140.12, Christel Saioni, France, 136.13, Anja Paerson, Sweden, 130.14, Corinne Rey Bellet, Switzerland, 129.15, Anna Ottosson, Sweden, 128.16, Brigitte Obermoser, Austria, 122.17, Karen Putzer, Italy, 119.18, Sylviane Berthod, Switzerland, 115.19, Silvia Berger, Austria, 111.20, Spela Pretnar, Slovenia, 106.21, Martina Ertl, Germany, 99.(tied) Allison Forsyth, Canada, 99.23, Tanja Schneider, Austria, 96.24, Silke Bachmann, Italy, 86.(tied) Andrine Flemmen, Norway, 86.26, Melanie Turgeon, Canada, 83.27, Sabine Egger, Austria, 82.28, Christiane Mitterwallner, Austria, 74.(tied) Eveline Rohregger, Austria, 74.30, Sibylle Brauner, Germany 65.

Super-G (after two events)

1, Isolde Kostner, Italy, 160.(tied) Hilde Gerg, Germany, 160.3, Mojca Suhadolc, Slovenia, 136.4, Brigitte Obermoser, Austria, 90.5, Renate Goetschl, Austria, 85.6, Regine Cavagnoud, France, 64.7, Melanie Turgeon, Canada, 63.8, Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 60.9, Tanja Schneider, Austria, 58.(tied) Sylviane Berthod, Switzerland, 58.