Vonn crashes, will still ski for overall title
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Lindsey Vonn crashed and bruised her right knee during the World Cup giant slalom Thursday, but is expected to compete Friday in the super G in an attempt to win her third straight overall title.
Vonn fell in first run of the giant slalom when her skis locked, she spun in the air and crashed into the safety netting. She skied down the slope and was taken away from the race area for medical evaluation.
“I’m going to race tomorrow,” Vonn said. “I’m not going to back down from this and at this point, I’m used to fighting through pain.”
With two races remaining in the season, Vonn leads Maria Riesch of Germany by 165 points. A victory is worth 100 points.
U.S. ski team medical director Richard Quincy said Vonn has a small bone bruise on the outside of her right knee.
The Olympic downhill champion, Vonn is still nursing a sore right shin and a broken little finger on her right hand. She bruised the shin before the Olympics and broke the finger in a fall in the Olympic giant slalom.
Olympic silver medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia won the final giant slalom race of the season, and Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany clinched the World Cup title in the event by finishing second. Riesch was third.
Hoelzl became the first German to win the giant slalom title since Martina Ertl in 1998.
Maze trailed Hoelzl after the first heat but put in the fastest second run to edge her by 0.03 seconds in the combined time. Maze’s aggregate time of 2 minutes, 10.72 seconds earned her the ninth victory of her career. Riesch was 0.21 seconds behind.
“That’s how we agreed to do it – she wins today, I do it Saturday,” Riesch said of Hoelzl.
Riesch, racing on her home slope, beat Vonn in Wednesday’s downhill and is hoping to clinch the slalom title on Saturday.
Vonn may have crashed Thursday, but she got some good news after the race.
The International Skiing Federation confirmed Vonn as the super-combined World Cup champion. She already had secured the downhill and super G titles.
Vonn sealed the super-combined title when the third race of the season in the event was canceled because of bad weather last week in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
That left Vonn with 160 points from two races, and Anja Paerson of Sweden second with 150. FIS confirmed that two races were enough for Vonn to win the title.
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Tejay van Garderen has long been one of the country’s top professional cyclists, having spent 12 seasons on the World Tour with various teams. His career came to an end in June when the 32-year-old announced his retirement.