Vonn, Cook 1-2 in Lake Louise
One down, two to go?
By the looks of Vonn's run Friday, a second straight three-peat could very well be in the cards this weekend in Lake Louise, as the reigning overall World Cup champ appears to be back to her dominant self, logging her fifth-straight win, 12 total, in Alberta.
Vonn destroyed the course, finishing 1.73 seconds in front of teammate Stacey Cook, who snagged her first career podium — second place — squeaking out Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather by a mere hundredth of a second. Hoefl-Riesch and Weirather tied for third position, sharing a step on the podium and the prize money.
Although it didn't seem to bother Vonn much, the weather was a problem, as intermittent fog and poor visibility resulted in several delays throughout the day, the longest of which came as the 25th racer finished her run, five shy of the required 30 to make the results official.
Vonn skied the fastest top section by a margin of .02 seconds, and as she often does in Lake Louise, expanded her lead at every split. There was no question as she came through the finish that it would be her day (and probably her weekend).
"I kind of felt like I had to win today," said Vonn. "When you say you want to race against the men, you can't really not win the women's races. I knew that and I was definitely trying to prove a point, mostly to myself, but to everyone else who doesn't think that I should race against the men."
For Cook, who last year finished ninth in the second downhill at Lake Louise — her first of five top 10s throughout the season — this kind of performance could very much be the trend moving forward. After a competitive week of training, Cook skied a solid top section, lost some time on the middle part of the course, but was able to make up the crucial hundredths at the bottom.
A three-time NorAm winner at Lake Louise, Cook is no stranger to the hill.
"I've spent a lot of time on this hill over the years," said Cook. "It's been a lot of perseverance, sticking it out, and finally getting the podium. ... I really shut my brain off (today). I know I can ski with these girls. I've been so close for so long, so I decided it was time — that I can ski with them."
Julia Mancuso looked solid, finishing in the first group of people not named Lindsey Vonn, 1.94 back for an eighth place result.
Laurenne Ross, who last season at Lake Louise crashed into the netting, lacerated her face and was airlifted off the mountain, appeared unshakable in her return to the venue as she gradually gained time throughout the run to finish 2.34 and 11th place.
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup Downhill, Lake Louise, Canada, Nov. 30, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
3 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
5 Moser, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Kamer, Stoeckli/Tecnica/Marker
7 Merighetti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
9 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
10 Rolland, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women's World Cup Downhill, Lake Louise, Canada, Nov. 30, 2012. ... It is the tenth race of the 74 race 2012-13 World Cup season. ... The fifth of 38 scheduled women's races. ... The first of eight scheduled women's downhills. ... It is the 88th Cup race held at least in part at Lake Louise. ... It is the third of five races at the site this season and the first of three women's races at the site.
It is the 54th career World Cup victory for Lindsey Vonn, extending her US record. ... She now matches Hermann Maier for fourth all time, men and women, on the World Cup win list. ... She is one win behind Vreni Schneider for second all time among women. ... It is her 27th career Cup DH win. ... She is second all time on that list. ... It is her 12th win at Lake Louise, also a record.
It is the first career World Cup podium for Stacey Cook. ... Her previous best had been fourth also in DH and also at Lake louise, Dec. 1, 2006. ... It is the first US one-two finish since Jan. 14, 2007 in a women's combined at Zauchensee (Julia Mancuso 1 and Lindsey Kildow (Vonn) 2).
It is the 69th career Cup podium result for Maria Hoefl-Riesch. ... her 20th in downhill and her ninth podium scored at Lake Louise. ... It is the sixth career Cup podium result for Tina Weirather. ... her fourth in DH and second at Lake Louise.
It is the 111th career World Cup top 10 for Julia Mancuso. ... the 35th in DH and her ninth top 10 at Lake Louise. ... It is the third best career result for Laurenne Ross and second best in DH.
Tina Maze (20th in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 321-260 over Kathrin Zettel (did not race). ... Hoefl-Riesch is third with 234pts. ... Mikael Shiffrin (did not race) is the top US skier on the list in fifth with 125. ... Marie-Michelle Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian in ninth with 87pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 753-493 over Germany. ... The US is third with 387pts. ...Canada in ninth with 150pts.
Results — Lake Louise Downhill Friday