Mon, Dec 06, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Riesch takes back-to-back wins

SLIPPERY SLOPES:Second-placed Vonn lost time when she almost crashed and has been critical of the course setup, saying more should have been done to make it less icy

AFP, LAKE LOUISE, Canada

Germany’s Maria Riesch makes a turn while taking first place during alpine skiing at the Women’s World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, Canada, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Germany’s Maria Riesch clinched her second downhill in as many days on Saturday by beating defending champ Lindsey Vonn, who lost an edge after hitting a bump and almost crashed out of the race.

Double Olympic champ Riesch continued her fine run of form this season charging down the 2.44km Whitehorn Mountain course in a time of one minute, 29.60 seconds.

Vancouver Games downhill champion Vonn was a close second in 1:29.70, while Swiss Dominique Gisin placed third in 1:30.38.

Riesch was able to make up time on Vonn by skiing flawlessly through the Fall Away section of the course where Vonn almost crashed on Saturday.

After coming off the jump at Coaches Corner, Vonn lost her footing in the Fall Away and went down on her left hip. She struggled and eventually recovered but not before losing vital time.

Vonn has been critical all week of the course setup, saying organizers should have done more to make it less icy and dangerous. Organizers made changes to the course after the final training run but it remained slick, both Vonn and Riesch said on Saturday.

Riesch, who turned 26 last month, upset three-time overall World Cup champ Vonn for the second day in a row after the American had fashioned a superb string of five-consecutive victories at Lake Louise.

Riesch, who won gold in the slalom and super-combined at the Vancouver Olympics in February, is the first German to win two downhills in the same weekend at Lake Louise since Katja Seizinger in 1997.

Vonn was hoping to avenge a loss in Friday’s season-opening downhill to Riesch who hadn’t won here in four years. Vonn also finished second in that 2006 race.

Temperatures reached -8 oC on Saturday on the sun-baked slope, making for icy conditions for the women racers. A number of women crashed out, including Austrian Andrea Fischbacher.

Riesch now has a 189-point lead over Vonn at the top of the overall World Cup standings.

MEN’S DOWNHILL

AFP, BEAVER CREEK, Colorado

Austria’s Georg Streitberger won the men’s alpine skiing World Cup super-G race in Beaver Creek, Colorado, on Saturday, completing the course in 1 minute, 17.18 seconds to defeat French runner-up Adrien Theaux by 0.11 seconds.

Swiss veteran Didier Cuche, world champion in his specialty last year at Val-d’Isere, and fifth in the season’s first super-G World Cup race last week in Canada, was third in 1 minute, 17.31 seconds.

Streitberger, who was 14th last week in Canada, started sixth and overtook Theaux, who had taken to the Rocky Mountain slopes two places ahead of the Austrian and came away with his first career World Cup podium. It was the second career World Cup triumph for Streitberger, who took a 2008 -super-G at Kvitfjell, Norway.

Cuche, 36, took his sixth podium since 2002 at Birds of Prey, having captured his only title in a super-G race.

Austrian Mario Scheiber, the overall World Cup points leader entering the race, finished fifth in 1 minute, 17.41 seconds, 0.03 seconds behind fourth-place Christof Innerhofer of Italy. Scheiber was coming off a fourth-place effort at Canada.

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