Suter wins World Cup super G in Austria
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria – Fabienne Suter of Switzerland won a super G race Sunday, while Lindsey Vonn was 18th and failed to finish among the top three in this World Cup event for the first time in nearly three years.
Suter, who was third in Saturday’s downhill, was timed in 1 minute, 9.55 seconds and won for the fourth time in her World Cup career. Tina Maze of Slovenia was the runner-up, 0.34 seconds behind. Anna Fenninger of Austria took third, another 0.40 back. The top American was Julia Mancuso in eighth place.
Vonn was the first starter from the top group, but lacked the strength to be competitive after struggling with a stomach illness over the last week.
“I didn’t really have the self-confidence and I didn’t have the power that I normally have,” Vonn said. “I am still not myself. … I just feel flat.”
Vonn, who won both previous super G races this season, lost the ideal race line several times and had trouble correcting herself. She finished 1.53 seconds off the lead.
It was the first time the American missed a World Cup super G podium since placing eighth in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in January 2009. It also was Vonn’s worst super G result since not finishing in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a month before that.
“You can’t be fast always. Maybe it would have been smarter if I had not done these races,” said Vonn, who placed fourth in Saturday’s downhill. “I definitely struggled this weekend but I am not going to put too much weight into it.”
Vonn remained in front in the overall and the super G standings. She has 704 points for the overall championship, followed by Austria’s Marlies Schild with 540 and Maze with 483.
Defending overall champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who was ill and missed both races this weekend, has 326 points. That leaves Maze as Vonn’s main challenger for the overall title.
“Today, I saw all the great names coming down and not beating my time, so I knew it was a good run,” Maze said. “I didn’t fully attack in the middle part, that’s where I lost the race to Fabienne.”
Suter started after all the favorites were already down, but she was fastest at all intermediate times.
“To be the fastest of all for one day, that’s just great,” she said. “In the downhill, I took too many risks so I tried to do better today. But at super G, you have only one chance after course inspection so I am very happy how things worked out.”
Suter led a strong showing by the Swiss team, with Fraenzi Aufenblatten and Lara Gut finishing fourth and fifth.
Mancuso was 1.01 off the lead, earning her second top-10 finish of the weekend.
“That’s always good,” she said. “I think my skiing is better than that but from third place on it’s really close.”
Mancuso said she had problems adapting to the changing conditions as warmer weather made for softer snow than the day before.
“I think I gave the course too much respect,” she said. “The snow is a lot softer … the bumps were not knocking out anyone. It’s just sometimes hard when you’re expecting a plan to change your plan halfway through your run. I guess I just overskied.”
The women’s World Cup travels to Cortina d’Ampezzo for a downhill and a super G next weekend.
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