GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Cyprien Richard and last-minute substitute Anemone Marmottan helped France edge Austria to win the team event Wednesday at the world championships.
Both teams won two of the four parallel giant slalom races but France took the gold because it had faster times. Richard's convincing win over Philipp Schoerghofer proved crucial for the tiebreaker, while Marmottan, who replaced Taina Barioz in the final, beat Michaela Kirchgasser by one-hundredth of a second for a key point.
"It's great to win the title ahead of Austria. That's the best way to win it," said Thomas Fanara, one of the French foursome. "It's amazing to be a champion with the team."
The United States had a bye into the quarterfinals but was immediately eliminated, with Bode Miller scoring the lone point in a 3-1 loss to Italy.
In the team event, each nation has four racers, two men and two women, who race head-to-head against their opponents in four parallel races. Each win is worth one point.
Julia Mancuso, who competed for the U.S. team, said she found the format fun but isn't all that eager to have it at the Olympics.
"I am kind of in the middle. It's a lot of fun," she said. "It's good to be with the guys. And I mean, it's kind of those events where anything can happen. It's cool. We don't do it a lot, so it's kind of different.
"It's almost like an exhibition. Of course, winning a team event is nothing compared to winning an individual event."
Another of the Americans, Ted Ligety, saw it similarly.
"It's a cool event," he said. "It's fun to watch, it's fun to race. Our scheduling in ski racing is so tough that doing this in the middle of a championships is always hard.
"If we had it on the last day, it would make more sense," Ligety said. "It would be interesting to see it at the Olympics but, then again, it's all about the timing. This is far less important than an individual medal."