Maria Riesch wins super-combi title |

Maria Riesch wins super-combi title

Graham Dunbar
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Maria Riesch of Germany, right, shares a word with Lindsey Vonn, of the US, after completing an alpine ski World Cup women's Super-Combined race in Crans Montana, Switzerland, Sunday, March 9, 2008. Maria Riesch finished in second place and clinched the World Cup Super-Combined discipline title. Vonn extended her lead in the overall standings to 157 points over second-place Riesch _ 1,263 to 1,106. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland ” Maria Riesch of Germany won the World Cup super-combi title Sunday and closed in on Lindsey Vonn in the race for the overall title.

Riesch finished second, 0.2 seconds behind Anja Paerson. The Swede won the combined downhill and slalom in 2:30.60. American Vonn was third, another 0.06 back.

Vonn needed to win to capture the super-combi title. She was last to ski after taking a lead of 0.86 seconds in the downhill run.

“I was fighting hard, but I made a really big mistake before the flat,” Vonn said. “It was a bonehead move. I went a little bit too straight and lost all my speed.”

Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook of the United States ran into trouble near the bottom. Cook finished 23rd and Mancuso, on her 24th birthday, finished 25th.

Vonn won the downhill title last month in Whistler, British Columbia, and won Saturday’s race for her 10th World Cup downhill ” an American record.

“I was really, really nervous when Lindsey came down,” Riesch said. “When I finished I didn’t know if it will be enough because Lindsey had a such a huge advantage from the downhill.”

Vonn, with 1,263 points in the overall standings, leads Riesch by 157 points. The only American woman previously to win an overall title was Tamara McKinney in 1983

“Yesterday was really, really good,” Vonn said. Today was good. Now I’m looking forward to a wonderful drive to Bormio!”

There’s a tough final week ahead for Vonn, with four races left in Italy.

“I guess the weather’s not good, so that’s unfortunate,” she said. “I’m feeling good, I still feel like I have a lot of energy left. Maybe not a lot, but enough.”

Riesch moved ahead of Nicole Hosp of Austria, who finished eighth. Hosp trails her by 21 points.

“I don’t think that the overall World Cup is still a topic for me,” Riesch said. “I think Lindsey will win it, so it is good that I’ve won the super-combined.”

Paerson, a triple world champion last season, celebrated her victory with a full body slide in the snow in front of the main fan seating area.

Paerson won her third World Cup event of the season, all in Switzerland. She won a downhill and a super G in St. Moritz in December.


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