Kildow survives challenge

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:06 PM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- Mother Nature couldn't stop Lindsey Kildow's victory party yesterday.

Unlike Friday's downhill race at the Winterstart World Cup, which was unexpectedly won in the late stages, Kildow was confident her time of 1:49:51 would stand as the day's best and not be pushed aside at the last second.

"I knew that I had skied well and that if the course stayed the same for everyone my time would hold up," said Kildow, who captured her second straight downhill World Cup gold medal on the Olympic Course at Lake Louise.

"I was number one until the last five girls came down (Friday). It makes a big difference when you can actually see the snow. I especially get a little bit more tentative when it gets a little bit more bumpy and the light's flat but today the sun was out for everyone and it showed with the results."

Without a cloud to be found over Lake Louise, Kildow skied a near flawless run with a slight hiccup near the bottom. However, it was good enough to beat runner-up Sylvaine Berthod of Switzerland (1:49:54) and Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister (1:49:63), who added a bronze medal to go along with her silver Friday.

As for the Canadians, the times weren't as positive as the day before. Kelly VanderBeek of Kitchener, Ont., was the top Canuck, finishing 19th with a time of 1:50.50.

"I felt a little bit like Bambi on ice," said VanderBeek. "I really fought for what I could do. I cleaned up some of the big mistakes I made (Friday). I can only build from here."

After capturing the attention of Canadian ski fans everywhere, Calgarians Shona Rubens, a 15th-place finisher Friday, and Sherry Lawrence, had to settle for 46th and 42nd, respectively.

Meanwhile, veterans Emily Brydon of Fernie posted second consecutive disappointing finish -- 39th in 1:52:17 -- while Allison Forsyth, skiing in only her second downhill, was 41st.

For Kildow, who won her first World Cup race here last year in the downhill discipline, the victory was a reversal of fortune after being narrowly nudged from the top spot to finish fifth Friday.

"I didn't feel cheated, it's just what happens sometimes," explained Kildow while hugging teammates. "It's an outdoor sport and sometimes you get bad luck."

Moving on though, the 21-year-old from Vail was just happy with her performance and is looking forward to the super-G today, which goes at 12:30 p.m.

"I skied really well, especially on the top section but I did make a little mistake on the bottom. I caught my edge and almost crashed into the net but it was a very good run, I'm very happy with it.

"Super-G has been going really well for me in training so I'm looking forward to it and I have a lot of confidence from today."


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