After difficult weather conditions plagued Friday’s opening super G, Lindsey Vonn and the U.S. Women’s Ski Team showed up to Saturday’s super G ready to win! Fortunately, windy weather in St. Moritz caused officials to shorten the length of the course, presenting the team with a tactically perfect super G. Lindsey Vonn skied to first place and captured the 57th Audi FIS Alpine World Cup victory of her career and fourth win of the 2012/2013 season. Teammate Julia Mancuso’s dominating speed and consistent skiing paid off once again with a third place podium finish. Tina Maze finished between the two Americans, but kept the race incredibly close. Vonn edged out the Slovenian skier by a slim .37-second margin.
This was big victory for Vonn, after skiing out in the slalom portion of Friday’s super combined, the star skier definitely had something to prove going into Saturday’s race. Today’s win bumped her up a spot in the overall point standing to now sit in third. Tina Maze still retains her lead with 167 points over Vonn. Lindsey continues to close the gap on Annemarie Moser-Proell, needing only 5 more wins (in any discipline) to overtake the Austrian for the women’s all-time World Cup wins. Even the men aren’t safe from Vonn’s record smashing rampage, with her 20th super G win, Lindsey trails close behind Austrian ski legend Hermann Maier who has 24.
“I was definitely disappointed after yesterday’s race,” explained Vonn. “I skied too conservatively in the super G and didn’t really have anything going on in slalom. Today I came out charging, I knew that it was gong to be really difficult to win.”
She went on to discuss the close competition, saying, “The other girls are skiing so well, Tina and Julia and Maria. It has been a tight field in super G. I’m definitely going to have to fight hard. The way Tina has been skiing is really great for the sport. I have a lot of respect for her and she is obviously skiing well in all five events. I’m only skiing well at the moment in downhill and super G.”
Julia Mancuso skied incredibly strong to take her second super G podium of the season. She currently sits in fifth place overall.
After the race Mancuso discussed her growing love of super G, saying, “I like super G a lot and it’s been good for me this year with my new equipment. I’m having fun. It was good that we had downhill before super G because I was really able to figure out what was working. Now that I have figured it out more, hopefully other disciplines like GS will be good too. That’s the biggest thing; it takes a little racing to really know. You can train as much as you want in summer but it’s hard to get the exact conditions you want on race day.”
Julia also went out of her way to share the credit with the entire team, saying, “We just have a really good set-up now, with great coaches. We have a great role model like Lindsey to look up to. So, it’s just helping everyone to be fast.”
Laurenne Ross finished within the top 20, taking 17th. Stacey Cook followed in 26th.
This is the fourth consecutive World Cup speed race where two U.S. athletes have been on the podium. The “Best in the World” women’s speed team is now responsible for capturing 8 of the possible 12 podium finishes during this season’s World Cup speed races.
The action in St. Moritz, Switzerland continues into Sunday, with the women’s giant slalom.