France's Jacquemod wins downhill for first World Cup victory

Friday, January 7th 2005, 9:00 am
By: News On 6

SANTA CATERINA VALFURVA, Italy (AP) _ France's Ingrid Jacquemod upstaged the favorites Friday to win a downhill for the first World Cup victory of her nine-year career.

The race was originally scheduled for Jacquemod's hometown of Val d'Isere but moved to the site of the upcoming world championships due to a blizzard at the French resort last month.

``Maybe it was better that they moved the races from Val d'Isere,'' Jacquemod said.

The 26-year-old covered the newly inaugurated Deborah Compagnoni course in 1 minute, 40.29 seconds.

Defending downhill World Cup champion Renate Goetschl of Austria, still seeking her first victory this season, finished second, a narrow 0.11 seconds behind. Another Frenchwoman, Carole Montillet-Carles, took third, 0.12 seconds back.

``It's great to have two French skiers on the podium,'' Jacquemod said.

Lindsey Kildow of the United States finished fourth, 0.44 seconds behind, and kept her lead atop the downhill standings.

Michaela Dorfmeister, winner of Thursday's downhill here, finished a disappointing 16th.

The worlds will be held at Santa Caterina _ and nearby Bormio for the men's races _ from Jan. 28 to Feb. 13.

Croatia's Janica Kostelic, who specializes in the more technical disciplines of slalom and giant slalom, improved on her seventh-place finish Thursday by coming in fifth.

Kostelic's performance moved her closer to leader Tanja Poutiainen of Finland in the overall World Cup standings.

Poutiainen, who does not compete in downhill, now holds a slim 626-604 lead on Kostelic, the two-time overall champion.

Defending overall winner Anja Paerson of Sweden sits third with 539 points. After finishing 30th Thursday, Paerson chose not to race Friday and concentrate instead on a giant slalom and slalom scheduled for the Compagnoni course on Saturday and Sunday.