Vonn wins yet again at Lake Louise
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta Lake Louise may officially run the womens World Cup races in the Canadian Rockies, but Lindsey Vonn owns the hill.Saturday, for the fourth year in a row, Vonn, formerly Lindsey Kildow, won a downhill race in Lake Louise, Alberta. Vonn finished in 1 minute, 48.69 seconds, 0.79 seconds ahead of Austrias Renate Goetschl.Its my first speed race as Lindsey Vonn its pretty special, said Vonn, the former Ski & Snowboard Club Vail racer. Its new start for me. Today was a really big win. It was a nice new win for Lindsey Vonn.Winning in Lake Louise, however, is anything but new for Vonn. In 2003, Vonn picked up her first World Cup win at the Lake Louise downhill and has won a downhill race there every year since.I just love the hill, Vonn said. There are certain hills I think athletes love and have a lot of confidence at. I love being here. Its a great atmosphere. The snow is always great, the course is always great. Its something I dont think about I know it like the back of my hand.Much like everyone else in ski racing, Jesse Hunt, the U.S. Alpine director, wasnt surprised by Vonns win.No, not at all, said Hunt, who is in Beaver Creek for the mens races. Obviously you never count on anything, but shes dominating up there. Shes dominated in the past and had great preparation.Although Vonn didnt have spectacular training runs, she wasnt one bit worried.I leave 20 percent for the race, she said. I knew today would have to be the day to win because there was only one downhill. It was a bit nerve-racking. I just tried to ski as well as I could.In years past, there have been a pair of downhill races at Lake Louise, although there is only one this year, along with a super-G.And as is almost always the case, Saturdays downhill was held in sub-zero temperatures.Its really, really cold up here, Vonn said. I was (going to) race with my mask today, but its really hard to breathe, so I went with tape and did get frostbite on my neck. Its not that fun to race in those temperatures. Your legs are freezing and your face is going numb. You need to put your bodily feelings aside.Vonns win was another solid result for the Americans this season.Its been a tremendous start for us, Hunt said. Weve had a lot of success by a number of athletes. We had great training leading into this.The Canadians werent shut out, as Britt Janyk took third for her first career podium. Janyks brother Michael took his first career podium last year when he was second in a slalom at Beaver Creek on the same day Britt finished 11th at a super-G in Lake Louise.
For all the success Vonn has found in the downhill at Lake Louise, shes not too far behind in the super-G, which takes place today. In four years, Vonn has three top-six finishes in the super-G including two podium finishes.From Lake Louise, the womens tour heads to Aspen for three races, including a downhill and super-G.Im really, really looking forward to Aspen, Vonn said. This is my first opportunity to race my discipline, which is downhill, not only in my home country, but my home state.Vonn has never skied a downhill in Aspen, and thinks the course may not suit her racing style as much as the pitch in Lake Louise.Im a good glider and turner and Aspen is a very technical hill, she said. It doesnt matter what the course is. Hopefully I can ski my best and that will be enough.Traditionally, the Aspen race has featured a slalom, giant slalom and a biannual super-G. Vonns best finish in a super-G was seventh.Its hard if you dont have a downhill because its hard to get a feeling of the terrain, Vonn said of the super-G. For a downhill race, there must be at least one day of training, which is shorter, but similar to the super-G.This is a chance for me to show the U.S. what Ive got, Vonn said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.