American Lindsey Vonn became just the third woman in World Cup history to earn 50 wins today (Feb. 4), taking a downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany by nearly half a second.
Vonn, the 17th women to challenge the 1.8-mile, bumpy Kandahar course today, put together an exciting run to beat second-place finisher Nadja Kamer of Switzerland by 0.41 seconds. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather grabbed her third World Cup podium (all coming this season) in third, 0.79 seconds behind Vonn.
“It’s crazy. I am at a loss for words. I already cried with one of the TV crews and that is enough crying for the day,” Vonn told reporters. “Fifty World Cup wins is a huge mark for me in my career and more than I even thought possible.”
Kamer, the third woman down the hill, had a stellar run and held the lead through the following 13 racers until Vonn took her turn. Vonn, who looked fun and fierce in a bright rainbow-colored suit and black face mask, built speed on the upper flats but lost time in the middle of the course when she nearly slipped to her hip, falling 0.62 seconds behind Kamer’s pace. She made the time back and established a solid lead with a near perfect line in the bottom of the course to cruise to her 25th career World Cup downhill victory.
Vonn, winner of four downhills this season, told reporters all week how happy she was to be back in Garmisch, finding the course much improved from last year’s thin, spring-like conditions at the world championships. Vonn’s attempt to defend her 2009 downhill title here last season was made all the more difficult as she came into town suffering from the symptoms of a recent concussion. She went on to take the silver medal. That foggy memory was whipped out today as Vonn edged closer to the all-time greats. Now, at 27-years-old, Vonn trails only Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (62 wins) and Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider (55 wins) on the all-time list. Of the three, Vonn reached the half-century mark the fastest with just seven years between her first Cup win and her 50th, it took Moser-Pröll eight years.
“I am just so happy, every win is special, but 50 is a huge mark,” Vonn told the Associated Press. “I feel like today will be a day when I look back at my career and see what I have achieved. I have a lot more to do. I have a lot more years of skiing in me, but Alberto Tomba has 50 ski wins and he is one of the best skiers of all-time. I don’t see myself in that way, but to know that I have accomplished so much to this point is amazing.”
It was a frigid day in the Bavaria mountains with temperatures hanging around -7 F. Skies were overcast and lighting conditions were flat as racers turned to face masks and tape to protect their faces from the biting air.
Garmisch local and defending overall champ, Maria Hoefl-Riesch just missed the podium in fourth place, 0.99 seconds off the winning pace. Austrian Elisabeth Goergl, who won the world championship downhill and super G titles here last season, finished 1.25 seconds behind Vonn in sixth today.
Vonn, who had a chance to earn her 50th win last weekend when Hoefl-Riesch spoiled Vonn’s three-win weekend winning the final super combined in St. Moritz, was joined by her sister and father for today’s special landmark. “My sister’s here, my dad is here. Things happen for a reason and I didn’t win last weekend, because I needed my family here to help me celebrate,” Vonn told the AP.
Three of Vonn’s U.S. Ski Team teammates joined her on today’s top-15 list. Stacey Cook and Laurenne Ross marked top-10 results in ninth and 10th, respectively. Julia Mancuso tied Austrian Anna Fenninger for 13th. Alice McKennis was one of three racers who did not finish.
After seeing her streak of three consecutive overall World Cup titles come to an end at the hand of Hoefl-Riesch last season by only three points, Vonn has charged into this season with nine victories to date and holds a daunting 482-point lead on Slovenian Tina Maze (25th today) in second.
World Cup racing in Garmisch continues tomorrow with a women’s super G.
Image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup Downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, German, Feb. 4, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Kamer, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
3 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
4 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
5 Merighetti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
7 Revillet, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Marchand-Arvier, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Ross, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Women’s World Cup Downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 4, 2012. … It is the 22nd of 40 (now 39) races on the women’s 2012 World Cup schedule. … the sixth of nine downhills. … It is the 92nd Cup race hosted at Garmisch. … the 37th downhill.
It is the 50th career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn moving her within five of matching Vreni Schneider for second all time among women. … It is her 25th career DH win, matching Franz Klammer for second best all time (Annmarie Moser-Proell has 36). … It is her ninth Cup win of the season and fourth in DH. … It is her fourth career win at Garmisch but first in downhill.
It is the fourth career World Cup podium result for Nadja Kamer, all in DH, and the third time she has finished second. … She finished fourth at Garmisch in 2010. … It is just her second result of the season having also placed 12th at St Moritz Jan. 28.
It is the third career World Cup podium placing for Tina Weirather, all in DH and all coming this season (2nd Lake Louise, 3rd St Moritz).
North Americans: It is the 11th career World Cup top 10 for Stacey Cook. … tenth in DH. … Four of those top 10 results have come this season. … It is her best career result at Garmisch. … It is the second career top 10 finish for Laurenne Ross. … and her best career DH finish. … It is her best placing of the season. … It is the 11th time this season Julia Mancuso has placed 13th or better.
Standings: Vonn boosts her World Cup overall lead to 1350-868 over Tina Maze (26th in race). … Maria Hoefl-Riesch (fourth in race) is third overall with 746pts. … Mancuso is seventh with 507pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian in 36th with 136pts. … With three remaining on the schedule Vonn leads the downhill standings 530-300 over Weirather. … Elisabeth Goergl (sixth in race) is third with 275pts. … Mancuso is sixth with 197pts and Cook ninth with 143. … Austria leads the womens’ Nations Cup standings 3555-2428 for the US. … Italy is third with 1701 and Canada 11th with 254pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|12||4||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:46.56||21.56|
|27||5||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:47.97||39.45|
|39||44||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:48.84||50.48|
|Did not finish 1st run|