Yes, it’s super early in the World Cup season, but it’s a two woman race for the overall World Cup title. And whatever plans Maria Riesch formulated this offseason to snatch the overall title from Lindsey Vonn (pictured left), they’re being executed. For the second day in a row at Lake Louise, Riesch bested Lindsey Vonn to win another World Cup downhill.
Heading into this season, if Riesch was going to knock Vonn off her perch, she was going to need to beat NBC’s poster girl on her own turf: the speed races.
Well, Riesch did one better. She not only beat Vonn the past two days, she beat Vonn at a place where Lindsey dominates. Mind you, this is a place where Lindsey Vonn had won six downhills in the past six years. That streak is over.
If not for the sun shinning today, there might not be anything to distinguish yesterday’s downhill from today’s. Riesch beat Vonn yesterday by just 0.07 seconds. Today, it was just 0.10 seconds. The rest of the women’s field were far behind the two rivals.
For Vonn, she had a Bode Miller type save on one of the upper turns, her right ski flying into the air and a hip check on the snow, but she held it together. If not for that mistake, Vonn would have won today for sure. Instead, Germany’s Riesch wins back-to-back at Lake Louise. Althought the same could be said for Elisabeth Goergl, yesterday’s third place winner. Austria’s Goergl was a full 0.97 seconds up on the entire filed, when she inexplicably lost her balance on the flats. She nearly hit the netting, stayed on course, and still finished in the top 10.
And again today there was an incredible seven American racers scoring World Cup points. Julia Mancuso followed up her fourth place showing with a sixth today. Chelsea Marshall finished 14th, followed by teammates Leanne Smith and Alice McKennis tied for 15th. Laurenne Ross nabbed 19th for the U.S. and Stacey Cook finished in the points at 25th. Huge props to the women’s U.S. speed team.