Lara Gut of Switzerland made the most of good conditions to win a World Cup downhill yesterday, while Lindsey Vonn’s bid for a fifth straight win in speed events this season ended in a crash.
Vonn lost balance and veered to the left, landing heavily into the netting. After a few moments, the US skier got back up and managed to ski to the bottom unassisted, suggesting she was not seriously injured.
Vonn has won two downhills and two super-Gs this season.
However, there was better news for the US ski team as Leanne Smith finished in second place for her first career podium, with Switzerland’s Nadja Kamer in third place.
Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia was 11th.
Vonn, who lost ground to Maze in the overall standings, had not looked at her best in training this week, finishing 18th on Wednesday and a shaky 48th on Thursday on one of her favorite courses.
She did not stop for reporters when she got back to the bottom of the course. Before climbing onto a bus, she replied “[I’m] not feeling great” when asked by reporters if she was feeling all right. The crash was even more surprising as it came in Vonn’s best event.
Before yesterday, she had finished in the top five in her last 27 World Cup downhill races, including 17 wins and 24 podiums — and missed only the top five once in 43 downhills since January 2007.
Vonn was aiming for her third straight World Cup downhill win at Val d’Isere.
AFP, VAL GARDENA, Italy
Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal outclassed the field yesterday as he won his 19th World Cup race by taking the super-G ahead of Italian duo Matteo Marsaglia and Werner Heel.
The overall World Cup champion in 2007 and 2009, finished 1.07 seconds ahead of Marsaglia with Heel a slender 0.05 seconds further back as he consolidated his lead in this season’s standings, 12 days before his 30th birthday.
The four-time world champion and reigning super-G Olympic champion picked up his third win of the young season after super-G and downhill wins at Lake Louise last month and tightened his stranglehold on the battle for overall supremacy.
He also leads the super-G and downhill rankings and is well on track to add to his seven crystal globes that include four in super-G.