Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Womens DH - A Sucky Race Thanks to Pissler

Again, I was able to find a reasonably stable proxy server and watched the Womens DH race live on Eurosport 1 France.

The womens DH sucked. It was a classic case of the Pissler weather deciding a race. Totally unfair, but sometimes DH happens that way.

As soon as I saw Lindsey Vonn chose bib 16 (the earliest bib she could have chosen) I knew this race was going to be a battle against a quickly softening course. The FIS live-to-web showed a temp of +1C. I knew then that the early runners were the only ones who would be skiing on actual snow.

My thoughts proved prescient. Fucking Pissler.

With due respect to Mancuso's talents, her being on the podium was due to Mother Nature and Father Pissler smiling on her. After Mancuso's solid performance at Bib 10, I figured her run would get her firmly into the Top 10, maybe 7th or 8th. But then a series of crashes, stop-starts, and a TV breaks pushed back the top seed to a solid 20 minutes behind schedule. Two girls (#11 Gisin and #13 Merighetti) hit the nets, each losing Vonn and the Top Seed racers precious time as the course quickly turned to mush. If I was Atle, I would have canceled the TV break after bib 15, because the race was dragging, the course was turning to spooge, and the TV guys already had had plenty of break time (too much, in fact) from the crashes. But he didn't.

Lindsey stepped up to the wand and just killed it. No pressure, girl. She made one minor mistake that I saw. No more. If she'd skied on the same course as Mancusco, I estimate she'd have beaten Mancusco by more than 2 seconds.

At that point, even with the course quickly turning into a Slurpee, I fully expected Riesch and Paerson to knock Mancuso off the podium, as well as maybe Jacqemod. But Lindsey's dominance hid the fact the the course had turned to glue. When Jacqemod skied the top half cleanly and was 2 seconds out by I2, I knew the course was toast and the race was over. Paerson might still have nipped Mancuso down to a Bronze, she was running 2nd within sight of the finish line, but she then destroyed her race and whatever slim chance Riesch still had by taking a wickedly nasty faceplant off Boyd's Chin and sliding into the finish area on her face. The subsequent delay pushed Riesch back another 10 minutes. If Riesch had skied the race of her life, I doubt she'd have made the podium. Riesch skied cleanly, with only a few tiny mistakes. When she crossed the finish line and saw how slow she'd been, she shrugged her shoulders and threw her arms up into the air, as if to say "WTF"?

Oh well, it's ski racing. It happens.

It will continue to happen all week. For the next 3 days, Pissler is supposed to be clear, sunny, and 45 degrees.

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