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Canceled race may hurt Vonn’s quest

Nesha Starcevic
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, holds the trophy of the women's downhill discipline title, at the alpine ski, World Cup finals, in Bormio, Italy, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. The final women's World Cup downhill of the season was canceled Wednesday because of soft snow on the Stelvio course. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)
AP | AP

BORMIO, Italy ” The final women’s World Cup downhill of the season was canceled Wednesday because of soft snow on the Stelvio course, possibly hurting Lindsey Vonn’s chances at an overall title.

The American had already clinched the season downhill title after winning five of nine races, and received the crystal globe award in a victory ceremony Wednesday. She leads the overall standings by 157 points.

“I’d been dreaming about the downhill globe since I was a kid and it’s surreal that it’s finally coming true.” Vonn said. “It’s very beautiful and shiny.

The men’s downhill at the World cup finals was also called off a day earlier. That handed the downhill title to Didier Cuche of Switzerland, prompting complaints from Bode Miller, who was second.

The women’s race was first delayed by two hours, then called off. It snowed for the second straight night, but daytime temperatures have been relatively mild.

The cancellation of Vonn’s strongest event could hurt her chances to claim the overall title.

With 300 points at stake from three races remaining, Vonn has 1,263, followed by Maria Riesch of Germany with 1,106, and Nicole Hosp of Austria with 1,085. Both usually do better than Vonn in the three races remaining, super-G, giant slalom and slalom.

“If we race, I have to be ready and fight because I know Maria and Nicole will be,” the American said.

Wins are worth 100 points, second place 80 and third 60. Vonn took the downhill title with 755 points, ahead of Renate Goetschl of Austria with 448 and Britt Janyk of Canada at 390.

“I was not even close to thinking of the overall title, I was just hoping for the downhill title,” Vonn said. “It’s been such a lifelong goal and now it’s here.”

The men’s final downhill was scheduled for Wednesday, but World Cup organizers called it off Tuesday because the skiers were not able to make any of mandatory training runs.

Cuche won the downhill title for the second year in a row, beating Miller by just five points. Miller is also in a close fight with Cuche and Benjamin Raich for the overall World Cup title.

Miller and Vonn are seeking to become the first American duo to clinch overall World Cup ski titles in 25 years.

While Miller won the overall in 2005, the United States hasn’t pulled off the sweep since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney took the titles in 1983.


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