Vail’s Vonn extends World Cup overall lead
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany ” Lindsey Vonn of the United States won a World Cup slalom ahead of Maria Riesch to extend her overall lead in the standings.
Vonn had a blistering second run to move from third to first and post her second slalom win of the season. She finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 47.17 seconds for her 17 career World Cup victory.
“It’s perfect, it’s a great day,” said Vonn, who won the opening slalom of the season in November in Levi, Finland.
Hometown favorite Riesch of Germany took second in 1:48.07, moving up from sixth. Marusa Ferk of Slovenia had her best career finish to finish third. Kathrin Zettel of Austria, who had a big lead from the first run, made a mistake on the second and was disqualified.
Collecting 100 points for her victory, Vonn has a season total of 1,014 in her bid to retain the overall World Cup title. Riesch is second at 890.
“It’s also perfect for Maria to be second,” Vonn said. “We are best friends and for us to be 1-2 on the podium, it couldn’t be better. It was amazing.”
Vonn has spent Christmas holidays in Garmisch with Riesch’s family and is well known at the resort. But she had not practiced on the slope this winter.
“Although I hadn’t skied on the slope, it felt like a second home with Maria’s family here,” Vonn said. “Her fans were supporting me too. For me it’s a matter of feeling good. I attacked.”
Riesch said making the podium in her hometown was “a dream come true.”
Several top-ranked racers did not finish the first run, including Anja Paerson of Sweden, Nicole Gius of Italy, Sandra Gini of Switzerland and Monika Bergmann of Germany. Paerson straddled a gate, Gius clipped another and the others slipped off the course.
Hailey Duke of the United States, who was in eighth place after the first run, went off the course in the second. She climbed back to finish last (27th).
Ana Jelusic of Croatia was fourth, Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic fifth, Denise Karbon of Italy sixth and Susanne Riesch, Maria’s sister, was seventh.
Riesch leads the slalom standings with 580, ahead of Vonn with 440.
It was the last women’s slalom race before the World Championships, which starts next week in Val d’Isere, France. The women also have a Super-G in Garmisch on Saturday.
The men will compete in the downhill on Saturday and slalom on Sunday.
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