Vail’s Vonn wins Super-G; extends lead
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail’s Lindsey Vonn won her first Super-G race in two years with a dominant performance on a demanding course Sunday to extend her overall World Cup lead.
The win was a major boost two days before another super-G kicks off the World Championships in Val d’Isere, France.
“It’s an amazing day, I am in good form and I have a lot of self-confidence,” said Vonn, who also won Friday’s slalom. “But I don’t consider myself a great favorite for the super-G in Val d’Isere. The downhill and the super-combi are my goals.”
“These two wins here meant a lot to me,” she said.
Vonn, who earned her fifth win of the season, also tied Tamara McKinney’s American women’s record of 18 career World Cup victories.
“I feel very honored to be on the same level with Tamara,” she said,
The American tamed the demanding redesigned Kandahar course in 1 minute, 22.16 seconds, beating Anja Paerson of Sweden by 0.39 seconds. Another Swede, Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, who won the previous super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, was 0.72 back in third place.
“It was a very difficult course today, it was icy and bumpy,” Vonn said. “I am incredibly happy.”
Vonn also became the first winner on the new course, rebuilt for the 2011 World Championships. The women’s race was originally slated for Saturday, but was postponed because of fog. A men’s downhill, also scheduled for Saturday, was also called off.
“It was a really difficult course, but Alex (Hodlmoser), my coach, set it and it was a great set. It was really challenging, icy and bumpy,” Vonn said. “I just charged. I knew what line I needed to take in order to generate speed from top to bottom and I just executed my plan really well and had some fast skis on my feet and everything just seemed to work really well for me.”
Vonn also got some advice from Thomas, her husband, who used to race on the old course.
“He told me exactly where I should go fast and where the tricky sections were,” Vonn said. “I think it really helped me and gave me confidence. I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was prepared for it.”
With the Super-G victory Sunday, Vonn has now won in all disciplines this season except the giant slalom.
By collecting a maximum 100 points from each of her last two races, Vonn has 1,114 points in her bid to win the overall World Cup title for the second straight season. Maria Riesch of Germany, who finished fifth in her hometown race, remained second, 179 points behind.
“Lindsey will win the overall title and she’s deserved it, she is the best,” Riesch said.
Riesch and Vonn are best friends on the circuit and the American has spent Christmas holidays with Riesch’s family in Garmisch, where Vonn is somewhat of a local star.
“There are a lot of races left and Maria will remain my toughest challenger,” she said.
Nadia Fanchini of Italy finished fourth to remain ahead in Super-G standings.