Vonn falls, fails to clinch World Cup title | VailDaily.com

Vonn falls, fails to clinch World Cup title

AP Sports Writer
Lindsey Vonn of the United States powers past a gate during the first run of an alpine ski, Women's World cup giant slalom, in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, Thursday, March 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Elvis Piazzi)

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Olympic silver medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia won the final giant slalom race of the season Thursday and Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany clinched the World Cup title in the event by finishing second.

Maria Riesch of Germany placed third to cut Lindsey Vonn’s overall World Cup lead to 165 points with two races remaining. Vonn, seeking her third straight overall title, fell in the first run of the giant slalom and did not earn any points. A victory is worth 100 points.

Vonn’s skis locked, she spun in the air and crashed into the safety netting. The American then skied down the slope and was taken away from the race area for medical evaluation.

According to U.S. ski team medical director Richard Quincy, Vonn has a small bone bruise on the outside of her right knee but expects to race in the super-G Friday.

“I’m going to race tomorrow,” Vonn said. “I’m not going to back down from this and at this point, I’m used to fighting through pain.”

Vonn, the Olympic downhill champion, is still nursing a sore right shin and a broken little finger on her right hand. She bruised the shin before the Olympics and broke the finger in a fall in the Olympic giant slalom.

Hoelzl won three of seven giant slalom races to collect 471 points for the title. She is also the world champion in the giant slalom.

“I am still overwhelmed,” Hoelzl said.

Her only rival, Kathrin Zettel of Austria, placed ninth and finished with 394 points.

Hoelzl became the first German to win the title since Martina Ertl 12 years ago.

Maze trailed Hoelzl after the first heat but put in the fastest second run to edge the German by 0.03 seconds in the combined time. Maze’s aggregate time was 2 minutes, 10.72 seconds and earned her the ninth victory of her career. Riesch was 0.21 seconds behind.

“That’s how we agreed to do it – she wins today, I do it Saturday,” Riesch said of Hoelzl.

Riesch, racing on her home slope, beat Vonn in Wednesday’s downhill and is hoping to clinch the slalom title on Saturday.

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