Lindsey Vonn seals U.S. record fourth World Cup overall title with GS win in Are
One year after missing out on her fourth World Cup overall championship by just three points, American ski racer Lindsey Vonn finally reached that goal and has left no doubt as to who is the top woman in the sport today (March 9) as she set several U.S. records and claimed her 52nd career World Cup win with a GS victory in Are, Sweden.
Vonn, who won the first World Cup GS of her career at this season's opening race in Soelden, Austria in October, had just a 0.07-second lead in the first run today. She turned on the burners for the second run to win by nearly a half a second (0.48) over Italian Federica Brignone. With her fourth overall globe, Vonn becomes the only American to ever win four overall titles. Phil Mahre won three. Only Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proell has more overall World Cup titles than Vonn with six.
“I don’t know what to say, I just wanted to have two really aggressive runs today,” said Vonn, who today tied her previous record of 11 wins in one season. “I have nothing to lose. I’m just having fun, my sister is here, my teammates are so cool cheering me on in the finish.”
German Viktoria Rebensburg, who last weekend padded her lead in the GS standings by winning a pair of GS races in Ofterschwang, Germany, finished third today, 1.05 seconds behind Vonn, and currently stands 95 points ahead of Vonn in the GS rankings with one more GS race on the schedule.
“The overall was pretty much a done deal but I think the giant slalom win is absolutely huge,” said U.S head coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “I am just thinking back to three years ago when she was not even considered a top-10 skier in GS. It's something we have talked about for a long, long time. She just needed to believe she can do it on race day.”
With a 554-point advantage on her closest rival, Slovenian Tina Maze, and only five more races remaining on this season’s schedule, Vonn can’t be touched in the overall race and will take home at least three crystal globes this season (she has already secured the downhill and super combined titles). Vonn was the reigning overall champion from 2008-2010, but finished runner-up to her friend, German Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF 1 today), last season by just three points when races were canceled at World Cup finals.
“Only a couple more races left and we get to celebrate this year,” said Vonn, who has also surpassed her own record of highest point total by an American with 1808 points and four more races to add to it. Janica Kostelic holds the women's single-season point record with 1,970 in 2006 and Austrian Hermann Maier has the men's with 2,000 in 2000.
Doubt surfaced about Vonn’s ability to regain her place at the top of the World Cup standings when, in late November, she announced that she would be splitting from her husband of four years and coach Thomas Vonn. The very next weekend she started a four-win streak to put those doubts well behind her. “The confidence I gained early in the season definitely carried me through until now honestly,” said Vonn. “Last year I felt like I didn’t cease every opportunity I had and I didn’t want that to happen this year; I wanted to come out charging and never let up.”
Birthday girl American Julia Mancuso stood 15th after the first run but found a new gear in the second run, skiing solidly in the overcast, soft conditions to hold on for an eighth place finish to end the regular season ranked 10th in GS.
With the only the top 25-ranked women in each discipline moving on to next week’s World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria, today’s results sealed a trip to finals GS race for both Vonn, Mancuso.
Fellow American Resi Stiegler continued her late-season charge with just her second scoring result in a World Cup GS in four years with a 13th-place finish today from the 45th start. Just five days ago, Stiegler earning her first career World Cup podium with a second place result in a slalom in Ofterschwang. Today's result is Stiegler’s third-best finish in World Cup giant slalom.
Italian Lisa Magdelena Agerer put down a scorching second run to jump from 28th in the first run to finish seventh. Her second run, the fastest of the day by 1.38 seconds, was fast enough to land her in the leader’s box and keep her there through the following 21 racers.
Marie-Michele Gagnon led the Canadians today in 25th and will just miss the cut off for World Cup finals ranked 26th.
Women’s World Cup racing continues in Are Saturday with the last slalom race of the regular season before the women meet the men’s tour for the World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria March 14-18.
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup giant slalom, Are, Sweden, March 9, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
3 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
6 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
7 Agerer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
9 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Women's World Cup giant slalom, Are, Sweden, March 9, 2012. ... It is the 33rd race of the women's 2012 season with five races remaining. ... There have been three cancellations to the original 40 race schedule. ... It is the eighth GS with one remaining. ... It is the 83rd Cup race hosted at Are. ... the 26th GS. ... Ingemar Stenmark is the only person to win three Cup races at Are.
It is the 52nd career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn. ... extending her US record. ... and moving her closer to the 54 of fourth ranked all time Hermann Maier and the 55 of Vreni Schneider in third all time. ... It is her second career GS win, the first coming in the opening race of the season at Solden Oct. 10. ... It is her 11th victory of the season. ... the record is 14 from Schneider in 1989.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium placing for Federica Brignone, all in GS. ... She has yet to win a Cup race. ... It is her third podium result of the season, all of them second place finishes and all behind different winners (Fenninger and Worley).
It is the 11th career World Cup podium result for Viktoria Rebensburg. ... all in GS. ... And her sixth of the season, including three wins.
North Americans: It is the 15th top 10 finish of the season for Julia Mancuso and her fourth in GS. ... Two were scored before December and the other two in March. ... It is the third best career GS Cup result for Resi Stiegler and best since finishing 12th at Panorama Nov. 24, 2007. ... It is the 13th scoring finish of the season for Marie-Michele Gagnon. ... and fifth in GS.
Standings: Vonn leads the World Cup overall standings 1808-1254 over Tina Maze (sixth in race) and cannot be overtaken for the title. ... It is her fourth overall title, an American record (Phil Mahre owns three) and matches her with three men (Maier, Pirmin Zurbriggen and Gustavo Thoeni) for third all time. ... Marc Girardelli recorded five and Annemarie Moser-Proell six. ... It is Vonn's third secured title of the season having previously won the downhill and combined titles. ... Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF 1st) is third in the standings with 1075pts. ... Mancuso is sixth with 855pts. ... Gagnon leads the Canadians overall in 25th place with 273pts. ... Rebensburg maintains a 95pt margin for the GS title with one race remaining, leading 550-455 over Vonn. ... Tessa Worley (fourth in race) is third with 396pts and cannot take the title. ... Mancuso is tenth in GS with 188pts. ... Gagnon is 26th with 75pts. ... The Austrians lead the women's Nations Cup standings 5095-3469 over the US. ... Italy is third with 2675. ... Canada is tenth with 543pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|7||29||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:17.55||1:12.17||2:29.72||10.11|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|58||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG|
|54||35079||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|
|38||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|