Vonn makes it a double win day for the U.S. with opening downhill win in Lake Louise


Lindsey VonnAmerican Lindsey Vonn proved yet again today (Dec. 2) that she is one tough woman. The Olympic gold medalist threw aside recent personal turmoil to dominate the first women’s World Cup downhill race of the season in picturesque, but windy Lake Louise, AB.

Vonn, who announced on Sunday that she will split from her husband of four years Thomas Vonn, had her mind on racing alone today as she shredded the 3,068-meter course and crossed the line with a lead of more than seconds to take her ninth career victory in Lake Louise.

“It’s amazing to have the support of my teammates and everyone on the World Cup,” Vonn told FISalpine.com. “My sister came all the way from North Carolina and is definitely helping me. Everything came together for me today, and I hope I can keep it going this weekend, but I’m just happy to be back racing Downhill.” 

It was a star spangled day in North America as Vonn’s U.S. Ski Team teammate Bode Miller also won a downhill in Beaver Creek, Colo. The American duo accomplished the same rare feat at the onset of the 2005 season. 

“I’m not really sure I’ll be able to do this again but I am going to try and do the same thing, go out there ski solid and have fun,” said Vonn. “I always feel pressure to win; I think it’s the most important thing for me. I know what I expect from myself and I try to do the best every day. But I didn’t really expect this today; I didn’t expect it at all. The most I have ever won was by 1.2 seconds in 2006, I think, and it was here in Lake Louise. I don’t know what to say, it’s unexpected but I am extremely happy.”

Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather came from the back of the pack (bib No. 40) to be the only racer to get within two seconds of Vonn with a time of one minute, 55.14 seconds. It is 22-year-old’s first World Cup podium.

Swiss Dominique Gisin, leader of the final training run yesterday, was 2.06  behind Vonn in third.

Just off the podium in fourth today was current World Cup overall leader, German Viktoria Rebensburg, who has 230 points. Vonn stands second with 222 points.

Another American tough racer, Alice McKennis, who was competing in her first World Cup race since breaking her leg early last season, had a great run down the course where she scored her first World Cup points to finish eighth today. The Glenwood Springs, Colo. native, ripped down the course in the No. 4 bib and held the number two spot through 10 racers, until being bumped by Gisin. 

“It’s been such a long road for me and to be fast in my first race back is just an incredible feeling. I felt so much more comforatble today than I have in any of the training runs,” said McKennis. “I felt like I was skiing well, but I no idea that I’d come down in a decent position. I’m so pumped up for another day of downhill tomorrow.”

Julia Mancuso, winner of last season’s final downhill, lost speed in the middle and bottom of the course after a strong top section to finish 16th. Stacey Cook and Leanne Smith also scored for the U.S in 18th and 29th, respectively.

Wind at the top of the course challenged skiers on-and-off all day, though some shaved down jumps on this year’s course minimized the affect.

Vonn, who once said that she didn’t even need to inspect the Lake Louise course anymore after 26 competitive runs down it, collected her 43rd  career World Cup win and second victory of the young 2012 season. She is now the third winningest woman in World Cup history.  

Racing in Lake Louise continues tomorrow with a second downhill, followed by a super G Sunday. Similar overcast conditions are expected through the weekend with some snow possible.

Image by Gepa

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup Downhill, Lake Louise, CAN, Dec. 2, 2011
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Weirather, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
4 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Voglreiter, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Stuhec, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
6 Recchi, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
8 McKennis, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
10 Aufdenblatten, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Women’s World Cup downhill, Lake Louise, CAN, Dec. 2, 2011
. … It is the fourth race of the women’s 40 race 2011-12 World Cup schedule. … The first of nine scheduled downhills. … and the first of three races (two downhills and a superG) scheduled on consecutive days at Lake Louise. … It is the third Cup race held at Lake Louise this season (two men’s events were held previously) and the 83rd race at the site in Cup history. … the 52nd DH.

It is the 43rd career World Cup victory for Lindsey Vonn, extending her American record and moving her past Anja Paerson into fourth all time. … She is three wins from matching Renate Goetschl for third among women. … It is the 227th US World Cup win and the first time Americans have won two downhills (Bode Miller also won at Beaver Creek) since Dec. 3, 2004 when the same two skiers won at the same two locations. … It is the ninth Cup win for Vonn at Lake Louise, the eighth in DH at Lake Louise. … It is her second win of the season having also claimed the Soelden GS Oct. 22.

It is the first career World Cup podium for Tina Weirather. … She had not done better than 17th in a previous downhill. … It is the first Cup podium for Leichtenstein since Marco Buechel placed third in DH at Wengen Jan. 16, 2010.

It is the seventh career Cup podium for Dominique Gisin and fifth in DH. … It is the second time she has finished third in a DH at Lake Louise, the previous coming last season.

It is a career best Cup placing (by one place) for Alice McKennis. … It is her fourth top 15 result in DH scored at Lake Louise. … It is the 42nd best Cup DH result for Julia Mancuso. … It is her third scoring finish of the season. … It is the 22nd best World Cup result for Stacey Cook. … her fifth best of 11 scoring results at Lake Louise. … It is the 30th career scoring result for Leanne Smith.

Viktoria Rebensburg (4th in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 230-222 over Vonn. … Elisabeth Goergl (20th in race) is third with 151pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is the top Canadian in 32nd place with 30pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup pts 677-429 over Germany. … The US is third with 402pts. … Canada is 11th with 48pts.

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  22  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA   1:53.19  0.00
 2  40  355050 WEIRATHER Tina  1989  LIE   1:55.14  22.91
 3  15  515747 GISIN Dominique  1985  SUI   1:55.25  24.21
 4  28  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria  1989  GER   1:55.29  24.68
 5  33  55978 VOGLREITER Mariella  1989  AUT   1:55.55  27.73
 6  34  565360 STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO   1:55.57  27.97
 6  5  295533 RECCHIA Lucia  1980  ITA   1:55.57  27.97
 8  4  538685 MCKENNIS Alice  1989  USA   1:55.60  28.32
 9  16  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   1:55.66  29.02
 10  30  515573 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi  1981  SUI   1:55.72  29.73
 11  19  516138 GUT Lara  1991  SUI   1:55.76  30.20
 12  7  296431 STUFFER Verena  1984  ITA   1:55.79  30.55
 13  9  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea  1985  AUT   1:55.81  30.79
 14  8  515766 SUTER Fabienne  1985  SUI   1:55.82  30.90
 15  10  296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela  1981  ITA   1:55.86  31.37
 16  21  537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA   1:55.91  31.96
 17  20  505483 PAERSON Anja  1981  SWE   1:55.93  32.20
 18  14  296472 FANCHINI Elena  1985  ITA   1:56.00  33.02
 18  6  537582 COOK Stacey  1984  USA   1:56.00  33.02
 20  17  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:56.04  33.49
 20  13  55947 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT   1:56.04  33.49
 20  11  195983 ROLLAND Marion  1982  FRA   1:56.04  33.49
 23  12  515782 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne  1986  SUI   1:56.06  33.72
 24  24  196460 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie  1985  FRA   1:56.13  34.55
 25  55  197006 GAUTHIER Marine  1990  FRA   1:56.26  36.07
 25  47  196812 PELLISSIER Marion  1988  FRA   1:56.26  36.07
 27  31  55913 MOSER Stefanie  1988  AUT   1:56.32  36.78
 28  27  196573 REVILLET Aurelie  1986  FRA   1:56.38  37.48
 29  57  55690 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   1:56.54  39.36
 29  25  538305 SMITH Leanne  1987  USA   1:56.54  39.36
 31  41  538038 MARSHALL Chelsea  1986  USA   1:56.59  39.95
 32  26  296427 SCHNARF Johanna  1984  ITA   1:56.65  40.66
 33  2  565320 FERK Marusa  1988  SLO   1:56.80  42.42
 34  23  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   1:56.85  43.01
 35  18  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:56.94  44.06
 36  3  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina  1981  SPA   1:56.99  44.65
 37  29  538573 ROSS Laurenne  1988  USA   1:57.00  44.77
 38  43  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca  1990  ITA   1:57.09  45.83
 39  32  505886 KLING Kajsa  1988  SWE   1:57.12  46.18
 40  50  375018 COLETTI Alexandra  1983  MON   1:57.18  46.88
 41  1  55766 MADER Regina  1985  AUT   1:57.31  48.41
 42  39  515560 SCHILD Martina  1981  SUI   1:57.34  48.76
 43  46  56128 HUETTER Cornelia  1992  AUT   1:57.36  49.00
 44  35  196968 BAILET Margot  1990  FRA   1:57.48  50.41
 45  48  297910 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA   1:57.53  51.00
 46  51  535585 STAPLES Kiley  1989  USA   1:57.59  51.70
 47  44  516145 KUENG Mirena  1988  SUI   1:57.61  51.94
 48  52  197329 MARCHAND Aurelie  1992  FRA   1:58.00  56.52
 49  36  56088 TIPPLER Tamara  1991  AUT   1:58.26  59.57
 50  49  155563 KRIZOVA Klara  1989  CZE   1:58.40  61.22
 51  53  206367 HRONEK Veronique  1991  GER   1:58.50  62.39
 52  45  538855 FORD Julia  1990  USA   1:59.03  68.62
 53  38  56080 RAINER Michaela  1991  AUT   1:59.11  69.56
 54  58  107027 DAVIES Tess  1991  CAN   1:59.50  74.14
 55  54  107192 FREEMAN Sarah  1992  CAN   1:59.54  74.61
 56  56  538975 WALES Brooke  1990  USA   2:00.13  81.55
Did not start 1st run
   37  297134 BORSOTTI Camilla  1988  ITA     
Did not finish 1st run
   42  55882 STAUDINGER Christina  1987  AUT     

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