At the start of the season there were a few questions surrounding Lindsey Vonn. After all, this was the first time in recent memory that she has entered a season free from injury. Would we see the Speed Queen of old, so dominant and so effortless, or would we see someone else?
After this weekend’s World Cup downhills in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Vonn answered many of those questions. With style and grace, Vonn took her second win in as many days down the notoriously fast and dark Kandahar track and now heads into the Olympics with momentum on her side and 81 career wins.
“It was just an amazing weekend,” Vonn said after the race. “I feel like I’m peaking at exactly the right time. I have so much confidence right now in my skiing, mentally, and in my equipment so everything is coming together better than I could have hoped or planned for. Now I go into Korea with a couple wins under my belt and just really looking forward to skiing the same way or even better than I skied this weekend. I’m going to lay it all on the table and see what happens.”
Vonn used some calculated skiing on the bottom of the track to separate herself from the rest of the field. There were several racers who had an advantage over Vonn heading into the final section of the course but could not hold a candle to Vonn’s pace on the bottom.
“It’s kind of similar to Lake Louise where I know exactly what I have to do to win and the bottom section is always critical,” she explained. “In almost every race I’ve raced here, the race is won or lost in the last 30-45 seconds. I carried all my speed really well and executed exactly the line that I had hoped for and I was able to actually accelerate down to the finish.”
Second place once again went to Italy’s Sofia Goggia, this time by 0.11 seconds. Goggia is also looking forward to entering the Games with the momentum of two-straight podiums.
“I think the timing in which I began some turns was off,” Goggia said of her race. “I made a really similar race two days in a row so I’m happy I go away from Garmisch with two solid runs, two solid races, and two podiums. This is what I was hoping for after crashing in Cortina.”
Just one-hundredth behind Goggia in third was Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather. The 28-year-old leaves Garmisch with the confidence that she can perform no matter what the conditions in Korea are.
“It’s pretty good for the self-confidence, also for the feeling on my skis,” Weirather explained. “I had a podium two weeks ago in Cortina where the snow was very different to today and now this works too so I kind of feel like I’m ready for anything and that’s a really good feeling. I was just really happy with how I skied and how I was dealing with the start-stop right in front of me; I had to wait for like eight or nine minutes in the start house and I didn’t get off my game.”
The hold that Weirather was referring to was due to a hard fall by American Stacey Cook who washed out on a high-speed section of the course and hit the safety netting incredibly hard. Cook was walking on her own power several minutes after the crash, but was still transported in a sled as a safety precaution.
Breezy Johnson followed Vonn for the Americans in a solid eighth place, followed by Laurenne Ross in 23rd, Alice McKennis in 29th, and Alice Merryweather in 31st.
The women’s World Cup tour now breaks for the remainder of February for the Olympic Games and will return on March 3-4 for super-G and alpine combined in Crans Montana, Switzerland.
- Lindsey Vonn (USA) – Head/Head/Head
- Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Head/Head/Head
- Stephanie Venier (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Michelle Gisin (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
- Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Breezy Johnson (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli/Lange
- Nicol Delago (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|