On Saturday, January 28th the Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn annihilated the St. Mortiz speed track achieving a 1.42 second margin of victory for her 49th Audi FIS Alpine World Cup win. Beating out Slovenia’s Tina Maze, Vonn took her second first place win of the weekend and 24th career downhill win. Vonn now is tied with Austrian Renate Goetschl for second on all-time downhill wins.
“It feels pretty special to tie Renate [Goetschl] for downhill wins, but [Annemarie] Moser-Proell still has a lot more than I do, so I have a long ways to go. She pretty much dominated so I have my work cut out for me”, said Vonn.
The U.S. women’s team took a 344-point lead over Austria in the downhill standings with three Americans occupying the top 10 spots. Julia Mancuso came in fifth and Leanne Smith took seventh. This was the best World Cup finish for Smith, and moved her inside the DH top 20 standings.
“It felt good to execute the line and the turns that I wanted to ski. I needed a downhill result and now I’m really looking forward to next weekend. Hopefully I can continue this little streak that I’m on”, said Smith.
Vonn gave her fellow teammate a great deal of praise, “Leanne [Smith] is skiing extremely well and I’m really happy for her and for Julia [Mancuso] and Laurenne [Ross], everyone is skiing really well. As a team, we’re on a roll and it’s fun to see all the girls so excited and skiing so well. Every day all of the girls on this team have a chance to be on the podium.”
Following her amazing performance on Saturday, Lindsey Vonn went on to take second place in Sunday’s super combined. Vonn narrowly missed achieving a three-race sweep by a minuscule .03! She came in just behind the defending Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany.
“It would have been nice to have a hat trick. I’m really happy for Maria – but I’d rather she beat me by a second”, said Vonn.
Even though she missed the top spot, Vonn’s second place finish boosts her overall point total to 1,250 for a commanding 387-point lead over Tina Maze of Slovenia. Vonn earned her 49th World Cup career win this weekend and scored 280 points winning the opening super combined and followed with a dominating downhill victory on Saturday. Vonn currently leads the World Cup downhill, super G and super combined standings.
Had Lindsey been a mere .04 seconds faster, the St. Mortiz super combined would have marked her 50th career win. Lindsey was definitely disappointed about the delayed milestone. “I tried as hard as I could. I would have loved to celebrate my 50th World Cup win here in St Moritz. But victory is not as easy as it seems. I had to ski five hard-fought runs in three days and it’s exhausting.”
She went on to gently rib her competitor, “Hopefully, I will get that 50th win in Maria’s home in Garmisch.”
Photography by Giancarlo Cattaneo/fotoswiss.com