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Lindsey Vonn clinches combined title as unstable snow cancels World Cup race in Sochi

What was to be the third and final women’s World Cup super combined race of the season was canceled today (Feb. 19) at an Olympic test event in Sochi, Russia due to unstable snow conditions. FIS officials deciding that the race would not be rescheduled in the short span of the remaining season meant that American Lindsey Vonn, winner of one of the two races held this season, will take home the 2012 super combined title.

Despite the best efforts of the course workers and organizing committee, overnight snow and warm temperatures did too much damage to the 2014 Olympic super G track to safely hold the speed leg of today’s race.  

“After the success we’ve had this week, we were really excited to get another chance to race on this hill, but the snow was just too soft to host a safe race,” said U.S. women’s head coach Alex Hoedlmoser, whose team scored four top-10 results in yesterdays downhill. “It was the right decision. Still, we had a great week in Sochi and I’m really proud of what this team was able to accomplish here. We’ve shown that we’re doing the right things to be competitive on this slope in 2014.”

Vonn, who also stands at the top of this season’s overall rankings, finished second in the second combined race this season (both were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland in late January) to total 180 points and top second ranked Tina Maze of Slovenia with 125 points. A day after clinching this season’s downhill title, Vonn notches her 14th career World Cup title and third consecutive in super combined.

“You never want to have a title clinched with a canceled race,” said Vonn. “I had it happen to me at the World Cup Finals last year with the overall globe and I’ve won a super combined title with a canceled race. It’s tough when you only have three races.

“I feel comfortable on this hill and I had a chance to get another look at how the super G would potentially run,” added Vonn. “I feel ready for the Olympics and I’m psyched about this hill.”
 
The World Cup tour now flies to Moscow for a night parallel slalom at the Luzhniki 1980 Olympic Complex on Tuesday night.

Eric Williams

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