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Lindsey Vonn fastest in Cortina training


CORTINA d’AMPEZZO, Italy – Without even putting her all into it, Lindsey Vonn threw down a run that was more than a half a second faster than anybody else’s in Thursday’s second downhill training in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Vonn, who says Cortina has “a special place in [her] heart” because it
was here that she landed her first World Cup podium in the downhill in
2004, then went on to podium in both downhill and SG in 2005, SG in
2006, won the downhill in 2008 and was second last year, finished in 1
minute, 38.98 seconds.

“I definitely tightened the screws today a lot more than yesterday [she
was eighth in the first training] but I think I stil have one or two
more gears left,” Vonn said. “It was a solid run. I made some mistakes
on the top but I like the way I skied in the middle. I’m really happy
with the run today.”

Anja Paerson, who was one of many racers to miss gates in her run, had the second fastest time in 1:39.55, followed by Nadia Fanchini in 1:39.97. Leanne Smith, wearing bib No. 38, blew into fifth place and Julia Mancuso, who was fastest in Wednesday’s training despite missing a gate and who had to wait until about racer No. 50 to start due to a course hold Thursday, was ninth. (Watch Mancuso describe the Cortina course on our media page).

Vonn said that while she cranked up her effort another notch for the second day of training, it was not her goal to put the fastest time down.

 “I wasn’t really expecting to be fast today,” she said. “I was trying to ski more cleanly, more aggressively. I didn’t say to myself, ‘I want to be ahead by this much.’ I just said I want to have a good run. I’m thankful that it went well. I hope I can keep it going for the race on Saturday.”

“I’m confident in what I’m doing,” Vonn continued. “Some people yesterday were like, ‘Oh, she’s not in top form,’ but I normally don’t push myself too hard in the training runs. I have to leave a little bit for the races, and I definitely have more to give so hopefully this weekend is another good one for me.”

Stacey Cook, who has also found success on the Cortina hill with a 15th place in the DH her first World Cup season in 2006, then 19th in 2007 and a 13th and 14th back-to-back in super Gs in 2008, was 13th in Thursday’s training.

“I feel pretty good. I didn’t think it was perfect enough to be a fast race run, so I definitely have things to work on,” Cook said, adding that her approach to training runs is to give it her all. “I like to go into the race run feeling confident,” she said. “I don’t like to leave a lot out of the training run because I want to know on race day that I can do it. I don’t hold back. I’m not standing up before the finish or anything like that. But you’re not going to figure out the whole course on two runs. So there’s still things to work on … I try to keep improving every run.”

Cook said the course was in great condition – even the second big jump that racers said had a rough, flat landing on Wednesday had been shaved down with a smoother runout.

“It’s really smooth,” Cook said. “The top’s pretty bumpy, then you come off some injection into the Cortina snow that we’re used to. It’s so smooth and grippy you can really do whatever you want on it. You can choose your line instead of the line the group’s taking. It’s a little bit of freedom on the mountain.”

Canadian racer Marie-Pier Prefontaine didn’t start in Thursday’s training, having suffered a concussion in a crash on Wednesday near the finish line. The Canadian Team will wait and see if M-P, who is more a tech than a speed skier, will start in Sunday’s giant slalom. Italian racer Elena Fanchini had a similar crash over the last jump on the course Thursday, rolling right through the finish line banner but standing up and appearing to be OK. Maria Riesch also had an unlucky training run, hitting a rock on the course and finishing at the back of the pack.

Racing in Cortina begins Friday with super G, followed by downhill Saturday and GS Sunday.

- by Shauna Farnell

Photo by GEPA

OFFICIAL RESULTS – SECOND TRAINING

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time
 1  15  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA   1:38.98
 2  14  505483 PAERSON Anja  1981  SWE   1:39.55
 3  17  296729 FANCHINI Nadia  1986  ITA   1:39.97
 4  29  515560 SCHILD Martina  1981  SUI   1:40.21
 5  38  538305 SMITH Leanne  1987  USA   1:40.30
 6  16  295533 RECCHIA Lucia  1980  ITA   1:40.43
 7  19  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea  1985  AUT   1:40.53
 8  23  515766 SUTER Fabienne  1985  SUI   1:40.58
 9  28  537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA   1:40.61
 10  22  196460 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie  1985  FRA   1:40.62
 11  35  296427 SCHNARF Johanna  1984  ITA   1:40.64
 12  26  196573 REVILLET Aurelie  1986  FRA   1:40.72
 13  1  537582 COOK Stacey  1984  USA   1:40.77
 14  25  515806 KAMER Nadja  1986  SUI   1:40.86
 15  10  515170 STYGER Nadia  1978  SUI   1:40.98
 16  21  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:41.03
 17  4  515849 DETTLING Andrea  1987  SUI   1:41.05
 18  6  195671 JACQUEMOD Ingrid  1978  FRA   1:41.11
 19  30  206175 STECHERT Gina  1987  GER   1:41.13
 20  37  515429 DUMERMUTH Monika  1977  SUI   1:41.14
 21  48  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   1:41.21
 22  8  355050 WEIRATHER Tina  1989  LIE   1:41.25
 23  3  538685 MCKENNIS Alice  1989  USA   1:41.34
 24  24  106022 JANYK Britt  1980  CAN   1:41.42
 25  40  225206 ALCOTT Chemmy  1982  GBR   1:41.50
 26  9  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina  1981  SPA   1:41.52
 27  36  296431 STUFFER Verena  1984  ITA   1:41.54
 28  11  296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela  1981  ITA   1:41.57
 29  7  55947 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT   1:41.61
 30  49  106666 RUBENS Shona  1986  CAN   1:41.63
 30  31  296473 SIORPAES Wendy  1985  ITA   1:41.63
 32  45  465059 MIKLOS Edith  1988  ROU   1:41.81
 33  20  105997 BRYDON Emily  1980  CAN   1:41.84
 34  5  515573 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi  1981  SUI   1:41.88
 35  46  565320 FERK Marusa  1988  SLO   1:41.98
 36  13  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:42.06
 37  2  538038 MARSHALL Chelsea  1986  USA   1:42.13
 38  44  55766 MADER Regina  1985  AUT   1:42.19
 39  43  55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole  1989  AUT   1:42.25
 39  32  295136 CECCARELLI Daniela  1975  ITA   1:42.25
 41  27  296472 FANCHINI Elena  1985  ITA   1:42.28
 42  34  505632 LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica  1984  SWE   1:42.45
 43  47  55806 ALTACHER Margret  1986  AUT   1:42.47
 44  42  505886 KLING Kajsa  1988  SWE   1:42.55
 45  50  297601 BRIGNONE Federica  1990  ITA   1:43.41
 46  18  206001 RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   1:43.55
 47  41  537565 KELLEHER Keely  1984  USA   1:43.67
 48  33  565360 STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO   1:43.71
 49  39  375018 COLETTI Alexandra  1983  MON   1:44.24
 50  53  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   1:44.90
 51  52  35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena  1984  ARG   1:46.02
 52  54  35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG   1:47.38
Did not start 1st run
   55  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier  1988  CAN   
   51  196851 BERTRAND Olivia  1989  FRA   
   12  195983 ROLLAND Marion  1982  FRA 
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