Recovering from mid-course mistakes has become American ski racer Lindsey Vonn’s calling card. She executed yet another inspiring save today (Feb. 26) in Bansko, Bulgaria to earn her fourth World Cup super G win of the season.
Vonn, who started the race with a 20-point lead in the super G standings in the No. 17 bib, made a mistake in the middle of the course when she briefly lost balance and threw her skis sideways, losing precious speed. The following split timer showed Vonn 0.61 seconds behind the current leader. The three-time super G title winner found a new gear in the bottom portion of the course, showing the athleticism that took her to three other super G wins this season, taking huge air off the final jump and crossing the finish line with just a 0.05 advantage on second place finisher Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.
“I tried to give myself a lot of direction for that gate because I was on a pretty bumpy sidehill and I just hit one of the bumps funny and went shooting downhill in the opposite direction that I wanted,” said Vonn. “I was way offline and had to chuck it sideways, but thankfully the pitch was pretty steep and I was able to accelerate out of that mistake. I had to really push the line and take a lot of risk from there down.”
The win marked Vonn’s second consecutive super G win in Bansko as she also took the victory the last time the women’s tour stopped here in 2009. Today’s win, the 18th World Cup super G victory of Vonn’s career, also gives her the record of most super G wins of any woman in World Cup history. Retired Austrian great Renate Goetschl previously held the record at 17.
“I didn’t know that I had passed Renate for super G wins,” said Vonn. “That definitely feels good. I think that’s the only record that I’m at the top of for World Cup.”
Italian Daniela Merighetti was only another two hundredths of a second behind Weirather to grab third place honors. It was the fifth podium of Weirather’s career, all coming in this, her breakout season. Merighetti notched her second podium of the season.
Slovenian Tina Maze came closest to the tightly packed podium in fourth place, 0.33 seconds off the winning time.
With today’s win in the last super G of the regular season, Vonn’s super G point total climbed to 413 points. Only Austrian Anna Fenninger, now 94 points behind with a 10th-place finish today, could possible stop Vonn from winning her third discipline title of the season. Vonn has already secured this season’s World Cup downhill and super combined titles and holds a commanding 528-point lead in the overall standings.
Competition was tight all the way down the start list as racers were fighting for not only the podium, but also a place among the top 25 in the season-long rankings to earn a ticket to the World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria in three weeks.
The women were happy to finally be racing in Bansko, a day after strong winds canceled the last downhill of the regular season. Winds were much calmer today as a capacity crowd filled the stands on an overcast but warm day.
American Julia Mancuso, winner of the last super G in Garmisch, Germany, lost some speed in the middle of the course but hung on to finish eighth today and secure a third-place ranking heading into finals.
Fellow Americans Leanne Smith and Luarenne Ross finished 18th and 24th, respectively today. Smith will join teammates Vonn and Mancuso in the finals super G race ranked 19th. Ross just missed the cut standing in 28th, though she will be competing in the downhill at finals.
The women’s World Cup season will wind down over the next two weekends with tech races in Ofterschwang, Germany and Are, Sweden before closing the show in Schladming March 11-18.
“There’s a lot of giant slalom races left so I’m looking forward to hopefully get another win this season to try and get the giant slalom globe,” said Vonn. – Eric Williams
Image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup super G, Bansko, Bulgaria Feb. 26, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
3 Merighetti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
5 Schild, Volkl/Lange/Marker
6 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
7 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
9 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
10 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
Women’s World Cup super G, Bansko, Bulgaria, Feb. 26, 2012. … It is the 28th race of the women’s 39 race 2012 World Cup season. … The sixth of seven scheduled super G’s. … It is the fourth of four Cup races scheduled at Bansko this season, the third held and the first held for women. … It is the eighth World Cup hosted at Bansko, the first in 2009.
It is the 51st career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn, extending the US record. … It is her 18th in super G, re-establishing the women’s record over Renate Goetschl. … It is her tenth win of the season. … fourth in super G. … It is her second win at Bansko, the other also in super G March 1, 2009.
It is a career best World Cup super G finish for Tina Weirather and her fifth Cup podium of her career and the season.
It is the third career World Cup podium placing for Daniela Merighetti in three different disciplines. … She won a downhill at Cortina earlier this season (Jan. 14) and was second in a GS at Are March 6, 2003. … Her previous best in super G had been ninth at Garmisch Feb. 5.
North Americans: It is the 105th World Cup top 10 for Julia Mancuso. … Her 30th in SG. … It is the third time this season she has finished eighth in a Cup super G. … It is the 19th best Cup finish for Leanne Smith. … eighth best in SG. … It is the tenth Cup scoring result of the season for Laurenne Ross. … ninth of the season for Stacey Cook.
Standings: Vonn pushes her lead of the World Cup overall standings to 1602-1074 over Tina Maze (fourth in race). … Maria Hoefl-Riesch (sixth in race) is third with 1046pts. … Mancuso is fifth with 794pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian overall in 30th with 204pts. … Vonn also leads the super G standings 413-319 over Anna Fenninger (10th in race) with one race remaining. … Mancuso is third with 301pts and cannot overtake Vonn for the title. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 4571-3094 for the US. … Italy is third with 2190. … Canada is tenth with 360pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|25||28||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:18.21||35.73|
|27||26||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:18.35||37.69|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|