Paerson fastest in downhill training; Vonn 13th
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
ZAUCHENSEE, Austria ” Anja Paerson of Sweden posted the fastest time Friday in the final World Cup downhill training session, while Lindsey Vonn of the United States finished 13th.
Paerson, the downhill world champion, went down the 1.83-mile Kaelberloch course in 1 minute, 48.14 seconds.
American Julia Mancuso was among the fastest starters. 1.10 seconds back in seventh. Defending downhill and overall champion Vonn came 13th, but she didn’t use her race skis in the training run.
“I don’t want to show everything I’ve got in training,” Vonn said. “I still have 20 percent more to give. Today was not a race, so the result and who wins or not doesn’t matter.”
Paerson was followed by three Austrians: Andrea Fischbacher, Elisabeth Goergl and Renate Goetschl.
Paerson said she didn’t push it to the limits.
“I can still go half a second, maybe a whole second, faster,” she said.
Maria Riesch of Germany, who leads the overall standings, was 11th.
Mancuso won a super-combined race in Austria two years ago to lead an American 1-2-4 finish ” the best ever result for the United States in the World Cup.
“I recall that race well,” Mancuso said. “I love to come here, the course is fantastic.”
Mancuso missed a lot of training in the fall because of a sore back, and her best result so far this season was sixth at the giant slalom last month in Semmering, Austria.
“It would be so great to get back to winning again,” said Mancuso, whose last win was in March 2007 in Tarvisio, Italy. “I am feeling well now, I am happy with my equipment, so it all comes down to chasing it in the races.”
Vonn, who won the only previous downhill race this season in Lake Louise, Canada, plans to attack in the downhill leg of Saturday’s super-combined.
“I need a good downhill, so I don’t have to take too many risks in the slalom,” Vonn said. “I guess it’s going to be a tough fight with Anja and Maria.”
Riesch, who used to favor the speed events, won four straight slalom races this season. During her first downhill training run Thursday, she lost a ski pole.
“I am not dissatisfied, but I can go a lot faster for sure,” she said.
The World Cup event includes a super-combined race on Saturday, followed by a downhill on Sunday.
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