Christof Innerhofer became the first Italian in 16 years to tame the Lauberhorn and win the classic Wengen downhill yesterday.
In two minutes, 29.82 seconds, the super-G world champion won the fifth Alpine ski World Cup race of his career and the third downhill.
Already fastest in Friday’s downhill leg of the super-combined, the Italian emulated his compatriot Kristian Ghedina who won the race in 1997, his second Wengen victory.
Innerhofer beat two Austrians, 2011 winner Klaus Kroell, who was 0.30 adrift, and Hannes Reichelt, who trailed the Italian by 0.76.
Frenchman Johan Clarey was quickest in the Hanneggschuss, the fastest section on the men’s circuit, and set an unofficial speed record in a men’s World Cup race of 161.9 kph, but had to be content with fifth place.
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, the downhill World Cup leader, crashed after losing a ski shortly after a jump and ended up in the safety nets.
The Norwegian was unhurt, but lost precious ground in the overall World Cup, still led by Austria’s Marcel Hirscher.
AP, CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy
Lindsey Vonn showed she is back in form by grabbing her first victory in more than five weeks yesterday in a World Cup downhill, beating overall leader Tina Maze by nearly half a second.
The four-time overall champion, who took 27 days off recently to regain her strength from an intestinal problem, clocked 1 minute, 38.25 seconds down the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course.
Maze finished second, 0.43 seconds behind, and Vonn’s US teammate Leanne Smith was third, 0.89 back.
“It was a great feeling today, to come down and see No. 1 next to my name again was incredible,” Vonn said. “It’s been a hard couple of weeks trying to get my strength back and trying to get my confidence back.”