Vonn wins super G for 3rd victory in as many days
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
HAUS IM ENNSTAL, Austria – As if anyone needed it, Lindsey Vonn offered more proof on Sunday that her bruised left arm is no longer an issue, at least in the speed events.
She captured her third straight World Cup race, winning a super G to become the first American man or woman to earn a victory on three straight days and the first woman to do so since 1997.
Vonn covered the Krummholz course in 1 minute, 26.69 seconds to beat Anja Paerson of Sweden by 0.53 seconds. The win followed downhill victories on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s good to know that I can do it,” Vonn said. “There was definitely a little bit more pressure today because everybody was wanting me to do the three in a row, and I wanted to do it myself, so it’s just good to know that I can ski well under pressure, and it just gives me more and more confidence going into Vancouver.”
Vonn’s 28th World Cup win moved her past Phil Mahre into second on the career list for American skiers. Bode Miller leads with 31 victories.
Vonn bruised a bone in her left arm in a crash in a slalom in Lienz, Austria, on Dec. 28. It impaired her ability to plant her pole and caused her to struggle in the slalom races that preceded the speed races this weekend.
U.S. women’s speed coach Alex Hoedelmoser said the bruise shouldn’t be an issue outside of the slalom, where she brushes up against gates.
“It doesn’t really bother her too much anymore at the start,” he said.
The last woman to win on three consecutive days was Germany’s Katja Seizinger in 1997 at Lake Louise, Alberta. Anna-Marie Proell of Austria and Marie-Therese Nadig of Switzerland also accomplished the feat in the 1970s.
“The course was awesome, I had so much fun,” said Vonn, who is unbeaten in downhills since winning the discipline last season. “The snow was in perfect condition and I just let it go. I didn’t concentrate too much on all the tactics, I just tried to really charge as much as I could.”
Nadia Fanchini of Italy and Martina Schild of Switzerland shared third place, 0.85 behind Vonn, who extended her lead in the overall standings over Maria Riesch of Germany.
The American came close to earning three victories in three days in December, winning back-to-back downhills before finishing second in a super G race the next day in Lake Louise, Alberta.
“This gives me a lot of self-confidence, things couldn’t have been better,” Vonn said. “I knew I needed to race more aggressively than in my previous super Gs this season. I gave my best and had a perfect run.”
Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley, Calif., placed 10th for the U.S. and Chelsea Marshall of Pittsfield, Vt., finished 21st.
“I am not unbeatable in speed events,” Vonn said. “Everyone can race the same line as I do. I know some girls are just as fast as me in training, but what counts is that you deliver it in the race.”
Vonn leads the overall standings by 192 points over Riesch, the downhill by 164 over Riesch, the super G by 95 over Swiss Nadia Styger, and the super combined by 20 points, also over Riesch.
Vonn said her performances on the World Cup circuit will help her at next month’s Vancouver Olympics.
“Doing well in the World Cup is the ideal preparation,” she said. “We have speed weekends coming up in St. Moritz and Cortina d’Ampezzo. It’s not easy to win every time but main thing is: I’ll be fast again.”
Riesch finished 24th, 2.65 seconds behind Vonn, after skiing off-course in the final section of the run.
Riesch looked set for a podium finish but misjudged a sharp turn and almost came to a standstill.
“I am not in a crisis,” said Riesch, who was seventh in Saturday’s downhill. “Lindsey was just too good this weekend. And I have to focus on the positive aspects, as I was skiing really fast before that mistake.”
The women’s World Cup circuit continues with a night slalom on Tuesday in Flachau, Austria.
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