France's Worley wins GS; Mancuso takes 8th at World Cup

ASPEN, Colo. — Too anxious, Lindsey Vonn skied too straight and right off the winding course.

On edge, Julia Mancuso conservatively completed her second run after nearly losing a ski up top.

That's the way the day went for the Americans on their home hill.

Vonn failed to finish her first run Saturday in the World Cup giant slalom, while Mancuso, in second place after a flawless opening performance, wound up eighth.

There was no such problems or predicaments for France's Tessa Worley as she used a strong second trip through the course to edge Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.01 seconds.

For Vonn, a three-time overall World Cup champion, it was another setback in the giant slalom, an event that's not exactly her forte. She has never finished on the podium in a World Cup giant slalom.

"Got a little excited and amped up," Vonn said in an interview released by the U.S. Ski Team after she didn't talk following her opening run. "That sometimes happens in ski racing. ... Trying to stay positive and keep working hard."

After posting a solid time in her second run, Worley nervously waited as the final handful of skiers flew down the mountain, only able to breathe deep again when she held off Rebensburg, who had the fastest time in the first run, by the slimmest of margins.

"I felt a little lucky. Couldn't believe it that time was on my side," said Worley, who won this race in 2008. "It was really close and it looked like she was going to get me. I was worried close to the end, but once she didn't get it, I felt really good. I was really pumped."

Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany was third, just 0.02 behind. She won this event last year.

Mancuso, from Squaw Valley, Calif., was in prime position to earn a spot on the podium after a nearly flawless first run.

But her ski wobbled on her last trip through the course, causing her to ease off the accelerator. She's recently lost her ski twice in training.

"I don't know if something weird clicked in my head," said Mancuso, who won gold in the GS at the 2006 Turin Olympics. "I backed off a lot."

There appeared to be quite a bit of that going on as the course was shrouded in shadows for the final run, making it difficult to see the bumps and ridges.

Rebensburg went last and that may have played a role in why she lost time to Worley. That and the fact she slowed down in the flat sections.

"I'm angry about that," Rebensburg said. "I know I was pretty close. I thought, 'Oh, heck, one-hundredth of a second.' But I'm pretty happy."

Rebensburg and Hoelzl have been skiing well in the slalom all season. The German teammates went 1-2 in Soelden, Austria, last month with Rebensburg winning by a close margin.

"Viktoria and Kathrin are the best GS girls in the world right now," said Germany's Maria Riesch, who finished in ninth place, surrendering her overall World Cup title lead to Rebensburg. "I'd like to keep up with them."

Vonn carried too much speed into an upper section of the course and couldn't recover to make a gate, leaving a spray of snow in her wake.

This after all the work she's put in over the summer to improve her giant slalom, fine tuning her workouts and her diet to become more explosive.

"I felt like I was skiing the best I ever have in my life and just didn't really translate it over into the race," Vonn said. "I think sometimes my mind gets the better of me and I get too excited. I just want it so bad that sometimes I make the wrong choices on the course."

Next for Vonn and the rest of the field is today's slalom, an event that gave Vonn trouble here last year as she skidded off the icy course nearly halfway down the hill.

After that, it's off to Lake Louise, a place Vonn has traditionally done well, winning seven downhills since 2004.

"I feel like the first few races of the season, the technical races are really hard for me," Vonn said. "When I go to Lake Louise, I feel like (it's) my home turf and I feel like I pick up my confidence and finally get the ball rolling.

"Hopefully, this year will be the same as all the other years."

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