Vonn feels 'awesome' in St. Anton training


Last season’s World Cup Overall champ Lindsey Vonn felt “happy and strong” in her downhill training run in St. Anton Thursday. The American has been back on snow for about seven days since taking a three-week break in the middle of the season to fully recover from an intestinal infection that had been nagging her all season, she says.

Vonn spoke to the media briefly after her training run, in which she started fast but held back coming down the bumpy and twisty course to finish a cautious 24th.    

“(St. Anton) is a difficult place to start back up on,” said Vonn, who finished 3.98 seconds off the leading time of Lara Gut. “It’s going to be a challenging course for the entire field, so hopefully I can have another good training run tomorrow, get comfortable on this course and have a good race on Saturday and Sunday.”

Vonn has missed six races, all of them tech events, since she left Europe in early December to recover in the U.S. After being hospitalized for two days in November, Vonn won three straight speed races at Lake Louise, Alberta. She went on to win another super G the following week in St. Moritz, Switzerland, but struggled mightily in France, slipping into the fences in the downhill at Val d’Isere and failing to finish the opening run of a giant slalom at Courchevel.

“After being sick, my legs just weren’t strong anymore,” said Vonn. “At some point you have to listen to your body and I did, took a break, worked really hard, and now I’m strong again and ready to keep racing.”

With a time of 1 minute, 38.31 seconds, Gut was more than a second ahead of runner-up Anna Fenninger (+1.02). However, the Austrian skied a clean run, while Gut missed gate No. 6.

It seemed to be the pattern for many of the girls Thursday, as super bumpy and flat-light conditions caused many racers to miss gates, including Daniela Merighetti, who was third on the timesheets.

Gut, who earned her first career downhill win at Val d’Isère last month, admitted with a smile that the course was tough, but she enjoyed it a lot.

“The snow on the top section is very aggressive, a bit like in Lake Louise, and very icy on the bottom part because of the rain of the last week. It is bumpy from the very top to the finish area. It’s actually crazy,” said the Swiss racer.

A similar observation was made by Anna Fenninger: “It was a fight, a fight all the way down. A fight for survival. This course is steep almost from the very top and it was very hard to ski today. Usually I feel very comfortable on my skis but not today. I am hoping to bring my winning momentum from 2012 into 2013. I am happy to have some speed races again, it’s been a while since Val d’Isere. I am especially looking forward to the super-G, which we also trained last few days.”

“It’s not the steepness that makes this course tough,” said France’s Marie Marchand-Arvier. “It was the bumps. It is bumpy all the way down, and that’s tough. Your legs burn.”

Speed training resumes tomorrow with downhill racing set to commence on Saturday.

St. Anton (AUT)

Training
Ladies’ Downhill
Jan. 10, 2013

Rank    Name Year Nation Total Time
 1 GUT Lara  1991  SUI   1:38.31
 2 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT   1:39.33
 3 MERIGHETTI Daniela  1981  ITA   1:39.34
 3 FISCHBACHER Andrea  1985  AUT   1:39.34
 5 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   1:39.43
 6 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole  1989  AUT   1:39.58
 6 GISIN Dominique  1985  SUI   1:39.58
 8 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie  1985  FRA   1:39.59
 9 FANCHINI Nadia  1986  ITA   1:39.65
 10 ROLLAND Marion  1982  FRA   1:39.66
 11 STERZ Regina  1985  AUT   1:40.00
 12 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:40.22
 13 HRONEK Veronique  1991  GER   1:40.38
 14 PIOT Jennifer  1992  FRA   1:40.63
 15 SUTER Fabienne  1985  SUI   1:41.14
 16 AGERER Lisa Magdalena  1991  ITA   1:41.21
 17 WENIG Michaela  1992  GER   1:41.55
 18 MCKENNIS Alice  1989  USA   1:41.60
 19 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild  1992  NOR   1:41.74
 20 BAILET Margot  1990  FRA   1:41.86
 21 WEIRATHER Tina  1989  LIE   1:41.89
 22 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA   1:42.10
 23 STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO   1:42.28
 24 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA   1:42.29
 25 REBENSBURG Viktoria  1989  GER   1:42.40
 26 COLETTI Alexandra  1983  MON   1:42.51
 27 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   1:42.53
 28 STUFFER Verena  1984  ITA   1:42.69
 29 DETTLING Andrea  1987  SUI   1:42.72
 30 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina  1981  SPA   1:42.80
 31 MARSAGLIA Francesca  1990  ITA   1:42.89
 32 MOSER Stefanie  1988  AUT   1:42.91
 33 KUENG Mirena  1988  SUI   1:42.95
 34 CIPRIANI Enrica  1988  ITA   1:42.98
 35 ALCOTT Chemmy  1982  GBR   1:42.99
 36 COOK Stacey  1984  USA   1:43.04
 37 BORSOTTI Camilla  1988  ITA   1:43.10
 38 KRIZOVA Klara  1989  CZE   1:43.18
 39 KAMER Nadja  1986  SUI   1:43.43
 40 VENIER Stephanie  1993  AUT   1:43.48
 41 GHENT Abby  1992  USA   1:43.58
 42 HUETTER Cornelia  1992  AUT   1:43.60
 43 DORSCH Patrizia  1994  GER   1:43.67
 44 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne  1986  SUI   1:43.79
 45 FANCHINI Elena  1985  ITA   1:43.81
 46 SMITH Leanne  1987  USA   1:43.90
 47 PUCHNER Mirjam  1992  AUT   1:44.09
 48 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA   1:44.32
 49 STECHERT Gina  1987  GER   1:44.43
 50 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi  1981  SUI   1:44.47
 51 ROSS Laurenne  1988  USA   1:44.59
 52 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA   1:44.71
 53 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA   1:44.90
 54 MIKLOS Edit  1988  HUN   1:45.10
 55 BRODNIK Vanja  1989  SLO   1:45.60
 56 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:45.71
 57 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG   1:46.75
 58 HORVAT Katja  1993  SLO   1:47.30
 59 YURKIW Larisa  1988  CAN   1:47.67
 60 KLING Kajsa  1988  SWE   1:52.60
 61 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   2:02.24
 62 ALTACHER Margret  1986  AUT   2:09.53
 63 TIPPLER Tamara  1991  AUT   2:14.10
Did not start 1st run
  SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena  1984  ARG   
Did not finish 1st run
  LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica  1984  SWE   

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