Unmatched Vonn wins dowhill


Sun, Dec 02, 2012 - Page 18

Lindsey Vonn, who swept all three races last year at Lake Louise, easily won the downhill there on Friday, her 12th World Cup title at the venue, giving credibility to her desire to race the men.

The four-time overall World Cup champion was to race her second downhill of the season yesterday and is set to compete in a super-G today.

“When you say you want to race the men, you can’t really not win the women’s races,” said Vonn, whose desire to race in the men’s event last week was turned down by the International Ski Federation (FIS), the sport’s governing body.

In a race disrupted by fog, Vonn clocked 1 minute, 52.61 seconds to win her 27th World Cup downhill title overall. Almost half of those have come in the Canadian Rockies.

The US’ Stacey Cook was a distant second, 1.73 seconds back, with Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather sharing third, 1.74 seconds behind Vonn.

The race was halted for 90 minutes because of poor visibility after the run of starter No. 25, Austrian Anna Fenninger. Vonn was already in the lead by then.

The 28-year-old American, who landed in the hospital earlier this month with a painful intestinal illness, looked like her old self a week after she was clearly exhausted after a giant slalom in Colorado.

Vonn finished 21st in the giant slalom last week, then skipped the slalom.

“The only thing I’m concerned about at this point is my energy level and trying to make sure I have enough energy for the next couple of days,” she said.

In a rare move, Vonn skipped Thursday’s final downhill training run because of stomach problems.

“It’s just that my stomach is really sensitive, so I had some funny eggs or, I don’t really know what it was,” she said.

Cook cried after completing the one-two US sweep and realizing she she would be on a World Cup podium for the first time in her career.

“Someone told me this was my 150th World Cup start. One hundred and fifty tries to get on the podium,” Cook said. “Nine years of it. It’s a long time coming and my parents — they come to one race every three years. For them to choose this one was really special.”

Slovenia’s Tina Maze, who seized the World Cup overall lead with two giant slalom victories this season, settled for 20th place.