Vail’s Vonn unhappy with equipment after 8th in super-G
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy ” Even with an eighth-place finish in a Super-G on Monday, Vail’s Lindsey Vonn increased her lead in her bid to repeat as overall World Cup champion.
The American wasn’t satisfied with run, though, and placed the blame on her ski man.
“I think we missed the wax today, because I had a perfect run,” said Vonn, of Vail, Colo. “That would have normally won me the race.”
Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden posted her first World Cup victory, taking advantage of soft snow that hampered all the race favorites.
Lindell Vikarby sped down the 1.15-mile Olympia delle Tofane course in 1 minute, 25.13 seconds. Anna Fenninger of Austria finished second, 0.81 seconds behind, and Andrea Dettling of Switzerland was third, 0.87 back.
“My skis always work really well on this type of snow,” Lindell-Vikarby said. “I didn’t make any mistakes. I was really fast on top, especially at that one gate where everyone got pushed around.”
Vonn’s main rivals in the overall, Maria Riesch and Anja Paerson, both fell and did not finish. Neither was seriously injured.
“In the end, we got lucky,” Vonn said. “It was a strange race.”
Vonn has not won a super-G in two years.
“I really feel confident on this hill in super-G and I skied absolutely perfect,” Vonn said. “I mean I was pushing the line, I was clean everywhere, I was tucking everywhere. The skis were definitely not running today.”
Yet Lindell-Vikarby uses the same ski brand as Vonn ” Rossignol.
Vonn skied right after Lindell-Vikarby, and lost time to the Swede at every interval despite no visible errors.
“It’s especially frustrating when someone from the same company is on top,” said Vonn’s husband and chief adviser Thomas, a former racer. “Normally when Lindsey skis clean she’s on the podium. It’s very frustrating.”
Vonn’s ski man of the past three seasons, Niclas Cronsell, formerly worked with Swedish standout Pernilla Wiberg.
“We have to analyze,” Cronsell said. “(Lindell-Vikarby) has the same brand, but we don’t know what’s under it. I have my ideas.”
Still, Vonn leads the overall standings with 914 points. Riesch is next with 810 points and Paerson was joined in third by Sunday’s giant slalom winner Kathrin Zettel with 775 points each. Zettel was 11th in the super-G.
Nadia Fanchini of Italy finished fifth and moved to the top of the super-G standings with 205 points. Fabienne Suter is next with 176 points and Lindell-Vikarby is third with 156.
It marked the best career results for each of the top three finishers.
The favorites did not seem prepared for the sunny conditions and warm temperatures, which softened the snow.
Paerson was 0.43 faster than teammate Lindell-Vikarby midway down, then lost an edge at high speed, crashed through a gate and came to a stop in the safety netting. She got right up and made her way down the rest of the course on one ski.
Paerson said she bruised her right elbow, but that it was “nothing serious.” Paerson also bruised her left knee while landing a jump in Saturday’s downhill.
“It’s getting better every day,” Paerson said of her knee. “I’m going to take a day off tomorrow and mend it.”
At the world championships, which begin in Val d’Isere, France, next week, Paerson has three titles to defend.
Riesch had already lost significant time before she went out in the same spot as Paerson. The German also bruised her arm.
Emily Brydon of Canada also fell in the technical section and had a minor cut on her leg.
After a day off Tuesday, Vonn is planning to train super-G Wednesday in Austria before heading to the next World Cup stop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, a day later.
“I had some problems last year, and I tested a bunch of stuff before finals, and I ended being second in the last race,” Vonn said. “So I think we just have to test some different things and see where we can make up some time and go from there.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.