Even on a sunny day in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, athletes still find the downhill track covered in flat light and shadows. Combine that with a bumpy surface and new snow conditions, and athletes soon discover that the downhill training run was almost nothing like the actual race. That became very clear when only two of the first seven athletes made it down the course in the Saturday morning World Cup.
“I try to stay focused and I try to have a good and smart plan – talk to coaches – and it was definitely a lot different today than it was in the training run,” said Lindsey Vonn, who earned her 76th World Cup win, crushing the Kandahar course. “Pretty much a totally different course. It was about nine seconds faster, so I just had to be tactically smart in some sections and it was definitely bumpy.”
These days, it seems nearly inevitable that when there is a World Cup downhill race, fans will see Vonn at the top of the results sheet. This race pushed her overall points tally up to 1,000, placing her 127 points ahead of Lara Gut, who was 14th on the day. This victory also puts Vonn within 10 wins of the all-time career record currently held by Ingemar Stenmark.
“Every day is a new chance to break my own record, which is kind of weird to say, but it still makes it exciting,” Vonn continued. “Every win for me is more special than the last.”
Coming in second place, Fabienne Suter of Switzerland skied 1.51 seconds slower the Vonn – a strong finish considering she only recently returned to competition after a muscle tear took her off circuit between the Val d’Isere and Cortina d’Ampezzo races. When Suter was asked about what she needs to do to grab a win, she was a baffled as anyone else on how to beat Vonn in downhill.
“It’s difficult to know that,” Suter explained. “I think just Lindsey is, at the moment, incredible. She’s so fast and good, and I don’t know exactly what I have to do to be faster than her. I am just happy with my second place. Back on the podium and that’s a nice feeling.”
“The people were awesome down here,” she said of her home crowd. “Really good atmosphere and I really enjoyed skiing here.”
Also notching notable performances were the U.S. Ski Team’s Laurenne Ross and Breezy Johnson. Ross skied to a season-best finish of fifth place while Johnson earned her first World Cup points, coming in 28th.
“I’m happy that I was able to ski strong and smart and I know I could have pushed it a little bit harder, but I’m going to take that speed and go into the next races with that,” Ross said about her run.
Their teammates, Stacey Cook, Jacqueline Wiles and Alice Merryweather, finished in 17th, 21st and 37th respectively.
Racing continues tomorrow with super G on the same track, where Vonn will be looking for win number 77.
“I am interested to see how the course is going to be,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be tough with the snow. How they’re going to set it will probably be similar to the downhill, I would imagine. But, yeah, I skied well here last year in the super G. I just have to have a good inspection and execute again.”
Sunday’s super G race starts at 11 a.m. CET.
Stay current on the World Cup circuit by downloading the U.S. Ski Team iOS app powered by Ski Racing here.
by Hank Mckee
- Vonn, Head/Head/Head
- F. Suter, Dynastar/Lange/Dynastar
- Rebensburg, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
- Yurkiw, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Ross, Volkl/Lange/Marker
- Weirather, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Miklos, Head/Head/Head
- N. Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Dynastar
- E. Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Dynastar
- C. Suter, Head/Head/Head
- Women’s World Cup downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 6, 2016. … It is the 24th race of the women’s 41 race World Cup schedule. … The sixth of nine scheduled downhills. … It is the 104th World Cup hosted by Garmisch … the 43rd downhill. … Tina Weirather is the defending champion.
- It is the 76th career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn as she closes within 10 of all-time leader Ingemar Stenmark. … It is her ninth win of the season, three shy of her all-time personal best of 12 set in 2012. … The winning margin is 1.51 seconds. … Top six are within two seconds. … It is the 299th U.S. World Cup win and 12th of the season.
- It is the 18th career World Cup podium for Fabienne Suter, just her seventh in DH. … It is her third podium of the season and first since December.
- It is the 28th career World Cup podium for Viktoria Rebensburg … her third in DH. … It is her fifth podium of the season, the first in DH.
- It is the sixth career World Cup top five for Larisa Yurkiw, her fourth of the season. … It is the sixth career World Cup top five for Laurenne Ross … her first of the season. … It is the third best career placing at Garmisch for Stacey Cook. … Jacqueline Wiles matches her fourth best career World Cup finish. … It is the first career World Cup score for Breezy Johnson.
- Vonn leads the World Cup overall standings 1,000-873 over Lara Gut (14th in race). … Rebensburg is third overall with 740pts.
- Vonn leads the downhill standings 500-328 over Yurkiw (fourth in race). … Cornelia Huetter (12th in race) is third with 294pts. … Stacey Cook is 10th with 146pts.
- Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 2879-2368 over Italy. … Switzerland is third with 2233pts. … The U.S. is fourth at 1916pts and Canada eighth at 801pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.|
|35||43||206548||MAGG Ann Katrin||1994||GER||1:46.60||+5.80|
|Did not finish 1st run|