Lindsey Vonn clinches downhill title |

Lindsey Vonn clinches downhill title

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Vail's Lindsey Vonn smiles after finishing second in a downhill in Whistler, British Columbia, Friday. Vonn's second-place finish clinched the season downhill title. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/AP)

WHISTLER, British Columbia ” Lindsey Vonn clinched the World Cup downhill title Friday, becoming the first American woman to claim the crown since Picabo Street in 1996.

“It’s great to seal the deal with two races left,” said Vonn, who also leads the World Cup overall standings. “I don’t have to worry about that anymore. That’s a big check off on my lifetime goals. It definitely feels great.”

Nadia Styger of Switzerland won the race in 1 minute, 45.30 seconds. Vonn made a mistake near the bottom of the course and finished 0.01 behind Styger.

American Julia Mancuso finished third in 1:45.49 on the same course that will be used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Britt Janyk of Canada was fourth in front of a hometown crowd.

“I was a little bummed out that I was second by a hundredth,” Vonn said. “I’m still happy. Second is awesome.”

Vonn, a four-time World Cup downhill winner with two runner-up finishes this season, has 655 points. Her nearest rival, Renate Goetschl of Austria, has 368 points after a fifth-place finish Friday.

Janyk, who has a win and a third-place finish this season, is third in the downhill standings with 350 points.

“I’m satisfied and a little frustrated,” she said. “I was going for it. I know I can win here and this was a great way to start. I’m right in there with the other girls.”

Styger captured her fourth career victory but first in downhill. Her other wins were in super-giant slalom.

“It’s a great thing to know I can win on the slope that is the downhill in 2010,” she said. “For that I am very happy. Now I know I can be fast here.”

The women will compete in a super-combined Sunday ” a super-giant slalom and slalom ” and won’t race again here until the Olympics.

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