Vonn takes first combined of the season in St. Moritz
American Lindsey Vonn collected her seventh World Cup victory of the season today (Jan. 27) at sunny St. Moritz, Switzerland in the first women’s super combined race of the season.
Vonn, last season’s super combined overall champion, had a 0.61-second lead on the field coming out of the morning downhill race, but with the following four fastest downhill skiers getting bogged down or skiing off course in the slalom, Vonn had a 1.41-second cushion to work with on the slalom course. She gave back a second of her lead but held on to win by 0.41 seconds of combined time with the sixth-fastest slalom run of the day.
“St. Moritz is a great hill for super combined and I felt like I had a really good downhill run,” said Vonn. “I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t think I had enough time ahead of the slalom girls like Tina, Nikki and Maria but I put together a solid slalom run t0 hang on to the lead.”
Slovenian Tina Maze, fifth after the downhill, had the fastest slalom run of the day to finish second and claim her sixth podium of the season. Austrian Nicole Hosp earned her first World Cup podium since December of 2010 in third place, 0.58 seconds behind Vonn.
“It was so important,” Hosp, the 2007 overall World Cup champion, told Fisalpine.com. “ I was not that sure the last time I can ski again very fast. It’s not that fun when you’re just skiing behind all the other girls and you know I was one time very fast and winner of the overall World Cup and now I’m at the end of the results. So now it’s good again and I’m very happy.”
Vonn, who struggled on her slalom skis last season, was primed for today’s victory with three slalom top-10 finishes this season. She holds a commanding lead on the overall standings with 1070 points. Maze is 302 point behind in second place, followed by slalom ace, Austrian Marlies Schild another 220 points back in third. It was the career 48th World Cup victory for Vonn, who is third on the women's all-time list.
“I’m a lot more confident in slalom this year and my equipment is working really well, I feel more sure of myself,” said Vonn. “A lot of times in slalom if I don’t have enough training I lack confidence and you can see it in my body language when I’m skiing. Today I knew what I had to do, I knew I had to be smart, use good tactics on the pitch and I knew I could let it go on the flats.”
Racers couldn’t have asked for better weather today. Skies were clear and sunny and winds were calm.
Vonn was given her comfortable cushion in the flipped top 30 second leg by Austrian Elisabeth Goergl (second after the downhill) and German Maria Hoefl-Riesch (third-fastest in the downhill). Hoefl-Riesch made a big mistake in the middle of the course and slipped all the way down to 21st for the day and Goegle missed a gate in the bottom section and was disqualified.
American Julia Mancuso, who occasionally skips slalom races, was fifth in the downhill and held on to finish 13th on the day. Teammate Leanne Smith had a great morning and stood fourth after the downhill leg, exactly one second behind Vonn. Smith, who has never raced a World Cup slalom, finished 18th, 4.74 seconds off the lead. Laurenne Ross, who stood 19th after the downhill, finished 20th in her fourth attempt at a World Cup combined race. Several American speed specialists, including Stacey Cook who finished the downhill in 15th, opted to treat the morning’s downhill leg as a third training run, pulling out of the afternoon slalom.
With a collection of speed skiers, who don’t regularly ski slalom races, shooting for combined points, the second run Did Not Finish list claimed eight skiers.
World Cup racing in St. Moritz continues Saturday with the downhill followed by a second super combined on Sunday, a make-up race from Val d'Isere, France in December.
Image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup combined, St Moritz, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Ferk, Stoeckli//
6 Feierabend, Head/Head/Head
7 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
8 Borsotti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Paerson, Head/Head/Head
10 Pellissier, Dynastar/Lange/unknown
Women's World Cup super combined, St Moritz, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2012. ... It is the 19th race of the women's 40 (now 39) race schedule. ... It is the first of three women's combineds on the 2012 schedule. ... The schedule was flipped with the first combined scheduled race - postponed from Val d'Isere Dec. 10- set for Sunday and this race, originally scheduled in St Moritz on Sunday, bumped up to today. ... It is the 36th World Cup race held at St Moritz. ... the fifth combined held at least in part at the site.
It is the 48th career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn, extending the U.S. record. ... She is the top ranked active competitor on the circuit and third among women all time. ... It is her fifth combined win. ... It is her second career Cup win at St Moritz, the other a super G victory from Jan. 31, 2010. ... It is her seventh win of the season.
It is the 34th career World Cup podium placing for Tina Maze. ... extending her Slovene record. ... It is her third podium in combined. ... She won a GS at St Moritz Dec. 22, 2004 and a DH Feb. 2, 2008. ... It is her sixth podium of the season.
It is the 49th career World Cup podium placing for Nicole Hosp. ... her fourth in combined and second in combined at St Moritz having placed second Dec. 19, 2008. ... It is her first podium of the season her best previous result a sixth in the most recent race, a slalom at Kranjska Gora Jan. 22.
North Americans: It is the 12th best career World Cup combined result for Julia Mancuso. ... Her ninth best result of the season. ... The result matches her seventh best at St Moritz and second best at the site in combined. ... Leanne Smith matches her 14th best career Cup placing. ... and matches her best of three results at St Moritz. ... It is her seventh scoring finish of the season and fourth of January. ... It is the ninth best career Cup finish for Laurenne Ross. ... her third best in combined. ... It is her fifth score of the season, all of them coming in January. ... It is the fourth career Cup combined result for Marie-Michele Gagnon. ... It is her seventh score of the season.
Standings: Vonn leads the World Cup overall standings 1070-768 over Maze and now leads the DH, SG and SC standings as well. ... Marlies Schild (did not race) is third with 548pts. ... Mancuso in seventh with 442pts and Gagnon leads the Canadians in 43rd place with 100pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 3203-1969 over the U.S. with Italy third at 1433pts. ... Canada is 11th with 218pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|25||36||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:47.28||47.80||2:35.08||51.26|
|32||47||35079||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG||1:51.12||47.67||2:38.79||79.52|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Did not start 2nd run|
|46||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|15||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|
|Did not finish 1st run|