At Saturday’s downhill in Lake Louise, Lindsey Vonn proved she doesn’t have to ski a perfect run to get the win.
The reigning World Cup champ, got herself into some trouble midway down the course on a sweeping left-footer. Vonn got twisted up, dropping her hand behind her back, before making a miraculous recovery to stay in the game. As a result, the 12-time Lake Louise winner found herself in unfamiliar territory — .52 seconds back of then-leader Stacey Cook.
Not a problem. Vonn gradually regained her lead, first by a tenth, then .52 seconds to solidify her second win in as many days.
“I was going into Fishnet today with a lot more speed than yesterday,” said Vonn. “I felt like I just hit a few bumps and caught my inside ski and almost went into the fence then somehow kept going. It was definitely interesting, but I didn’t give up. I haven’t won with that big of a mistake before.”
So, with a winning time of 1:52.90 it was the Americans Vonn and Cook in the 1-2 positions for the second day in a row. Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden finished .62 back (one-tenth from Cook) for the third-place result.
For Vonn, it was her 55th career win, tying Vreni Schneider for second all-time. It was her sixth straight at Lake Louise (13th total).
For Cook, it was the second podium of the week and second of her career.
“I hope this is the tip of the iceberg for me,” said Cook. “There was a second there that I actually thought I might win this thing, but Lindsey is amazing. When she made that mistake my heart actually stopped for a second. She’s amazing, she’s the only athlete that could stop on course and then still win.”
The weather was again a factor as dense fog and snow rolled through the area, especially affecting the later starters.
Leanne Smith, who held an early lead for a brief period, was living dangerously, nearly plowing into the safety net. She was lucky to be on her feet at the end of the run with a time of 1:55.14, good enough for 20th position.
Alice McKennis, after a disappointing finish yesterday, picked up half-a-second on Smith, setting the early pace. She finished 11th on the day, not far back from Julia Mancuso, who took ninth.
by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup Downhill, Lake Louise, Canada, Dec. 1, 2012
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Cook, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Kaufmann-Abderhalden, Head/Nordica/Head
4 Marchand-Arvier, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Merighetti, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
7 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
8 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
9 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
10 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Marker
Women’s World Cup Downhill, Lake Louise, Canada, Dec. 1, 2012. … It is the 12th of 74 races on the 2012-13 World Cup schedule. … The sixth of 38 on the women’s schedule and the second of eight scheduled downhills. … It is the second downhill in two days at Lake Louise and the fourth of five races set at Lake Louise this season. … The second of three for women. … It is the 88th World Cup hosted at Lake Louise, plus half of a combined.
It is the 55th career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn. … matching her with Vreni Schneider for second all-time among women. … She trails only Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 62. … It is her 28th career DH win, also leaving her second all-time, men or women, behind Moser-Proell’s 36. … It is her 13th career Cup win at Lake Louise. … She has won the last six women’s Cup races at the site. … It is her second win of the season.
It is the second career World Cup podium finish for Stacey Cook and the second straight day she had finished second.
It is the second career World Cup podium for Marianne Kaufman-Abderhalden, the previous also coming in downhill March 6, 2010 at Crans Montana. … Her previous best at Lake Louise had been 14th in downhill Dec. 3, 2010.
It is the 231st top 10 World Cup result for Julia Mancuso. … Her tenth at Lake Louise. … her 36th top 10 in DH. … It is her second top 10 of the season. … It is the seventh best career result for Alice McKennis. … matching her second best scored at Lake Louise. … Laurenne Ross matches her 11th best career result. … and matches her fifth best DH result. … It is her second best result at Lake Louise. … It is the 41st career World Cup scoring result for Leanne Smith. … She matches her fifth best score at Lake Louise. … The US women’s team also had six in scoring positions at Lake Louise in DH Dec. 4, 2010.
Tina Maze (10th in race) maintains the World Cup Overall standings 347-274 over Maria Hoefl-Riesch (sixth in race). … Kathrin Zettel (did not race) holds third with 260pts. … Vonn is the top American in fourth with 210pts and Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not race) is top Canadian in 12th with 87pts. … Vonn leads the downhill standings 200-160 over Cook. … Hoefl-Riesch is third with 100pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 803-644 over the US. … Germany is third with 557 and Canada ninth with 150pts.