Lindsey Vonn Closer to Historical Overall Crown

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 27, 2009 12:45 pm

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) might make history—again. The World Champion just racked up another podium (bronze) in the World Cup downhill in Bansko, Bulgaria, and now she is set to become only the second woman in American history to win back-to-back World Cup Downhill titles. Picabo Street claimed the honor in 1995 and 1996. However, no American woman has ever won consecutive World Cup Overall titles, so if Vonn clinches another this season, she’ll be the first in history.

Vonn nearly won the Bansko downill, but encountered some bobbles on the way down. "This is the most difficult downhill we’ve ever seen," said U.S. Ski Team women’s Speed Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. "It’s icy, incredibly bumpy and extremely technical with sharp turn after turn. Nobody makes this hill look good on skis."

In training, Vonn lost a ski and slid off the course, leaving her bruised and sore. "I was a little bit nervous today because of my crash," she said. "It was a tough fall. My back and behind are a little bit sore and it was a fight for me through the bottom part, especially since I didn’t get to ski it yesterday."

Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter was the only racer to nail a tough right turn at the top section of the course, and the extra time allowed her to win in 1:45.68 seconds— 1.15 seconds over Austria’s Andrea Fischbacher. Vonn laid down a solid time of 1:46.92, tying Italy’s Nadia Fanchini for third.

Vonn’s teammate, Olympic gold medal winner Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) skied a solid run in spite of visibility, and finished 13th.  

"Julia ran in probably the worst visibility conditions of the day and skied really well, probably one of the best runs," said Hoedlmoser. "She didn’t hold back."

Bansko will hold another downhill Saturday and a super G on Sunday, rounding out the final speed races prior to the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, and Vonn plans to ski full-steam ahead. "It’s looking pretty good for the downhill title and I’m feeling confident about where I am with the overall, but I’m not about to let up," said Vonn, who also has a shot at the super G title. "Anything can happen in ski racing; that’s what makes it so exciting.”



Bansko, Bulgaria  Feb. 27, 2009

1. Fabienne Suter, Switzerland, 1:45.68

2. Andrea Fischbacher, Austria, 1:46.83

3. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:46.92

3. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, 1:46.92

5. Lara Gut, Switzerland, 1:47.10

13. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:48.60

28. Stacey Cook, Mammoth, CA, 1:51.33

31. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, VT, 1:52.02

32. Keely Kelleher, Big Sky, MT, 1:52.45

34. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN, 1:53.60


photo: US Ski Team/USSA