Vonn back to form in Alberta
Lindsey Vonn is apparently feeling better. After finishing 21st and collapsing from exhaustion at the World Cup GS in Aspen three days ago, Vonn skied nearly a second faster than the day's second quickest racer, Maria Hoefl-Riesch, at the Lake Louise downhill training Tuesday.
Vonn, who swept the Alberta races last year, finished with a time 1 minute, 52.10 seconds. Hoefl-Riesch came through with a pace of 1:53.05, followed by Dominque Gisin, of Switzerland, who ran 1:53.41.
Americans Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso cracked the top ten, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. Meanwhile, Slovenia's Tina Maze, the current World Cup overall leader, finished with a very competitive time 1:53.90, good enough for sixth place on the day.
Lake Louise consists of several flat sections, which require gliding skills, the right wax and the proper line. Setting up for the flats is key. If racers bobble before the long flat sections, they risk losing valuable time.
Other than the flats, there are jumps, and rolls, not to mention some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on the circuit. The race is not extremely difficult, but is difficult to be fast on. Racers really need to nail the right line in order to create as much speed as possible.
It's no surprise Lake Louise is the venue at which Vonn has proposed to race against the men. The reigning overall World Cup champ dominated the Lake Louise races last season in both Downhill and Super G.
Certainly, the topic will come up more than once this week.
"I think I would be really happy with a top 30," said Vonn, referring to the prospect of racing against the men. "I've trained a lot with the guys in the last couple years. ... I'm always right in there. I beat some sometimes. I'm never too far off the pace. So I don't know exactly how I stack up, but that's kind of the whole point."
Hoefl-Riesch, Gisin, Elisabeth Goergl, Andrea Fischbacher and Anna Fenninger have all been consistently fast in Lake Louise over the past few seasons and are expected to contend for the podium. With the absence of one of the most dominant ladies in speed, Anja Pearson who retired last season, there is room for someone to step up and break into the top group of girls.
Results — Women's World Cup Downhill Training Tuesday
|14||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:54.32|
|43||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:57.46|
|Did not finish 1st run|