Vail’s Vonn second in World Cup super combi
TARVISIO, Italy ” Maria Riesch edged Lindsey Vonn of Vail to win a World Cup super-combi race Friday, and Anja Paerson claimed the discipline title by finishing fifth.
Riesch, who was second following the downhill portion of the event, won the race in a combined time of 2 minutes, 18.57 seconds. Vonn was second, 0.49 behind, and Kathrin Zettel of Austria was third, 2.03 back.
Paerson won the discipline title with 205 points. Vonn was second with 180 points, and Zettel was third with 162.
“It’s important to win a crystal globe, but for sure I would have wanted to win (the race) today for the overall,” said Paerson, who made a costly error midway through her downhill run. “Hopefully tomorrow I won’t make any mistakes. If I ski like I know I can, I can (win).”
A downhill is scheduled for Saturday, followed by a super-G Sunday.
Vonn leads the overall standings with 1,194 points, Riesch is next with 1,035 and Paerson is third with 900.
Riesch won gold in the slalom to conclude the World Championships last weekend.
“After winning gold all the pressure is away. I’m just enjoying everything now,” Riesch said. “The downhill was really good. I had some problems in downhill earlier this season, so it’s good to be back in shape.”
Riesch narrowed the gap to Vonn in the overall standings to 159 points, but wasn’t optimistic about catching the American.
“I think I have no chance for the overall,” said the German. “It’s pretty close now but there are a lot of speed races coming up and I have no chance in downhill with Lindsey.”
Vonn held a commanding lead after the downhill leg but was a bit tentative in her slalom run, skiing with a splint on her surgically repaired right thumb, which she sliced open on a broken champagne bottle after sweeping the speed races at the worlds.
“My hand is feeling a little better, but it’s difficult at the start to push off,” Vonn said. “Also, in the slalom it’s difficult because I’m hitting my hand on every gate.
“I’m really happy with today. I had a really good downhill run and my slalom was OK. I knew it would be tough to win with Maria ” and almost impossible to catch Anja for the super-combi title ” so my goal was just to finish and get points for the overall.”