Vonn, Gut, and Maze on the super G podium in Lake Louise. GEPA

Vonn, Gut, and Maze on the super G podium in Lake Louise. GEPA

LAKE LOUISE, Canada – The good news for Lindsey Vonn is she skied a very imperfect super G race on Sunday and still managed to finish second behind Switzerland’s Lara Gut. The bad news for everyone else is they’ll have to compete against her for the rest of the season.

Vonn appears to be on the cusp of getting back to her old self. No, she didn’t sweep the races in Lake Louise, as she has on two separate occasions. No, she didn’t crush the field by well over a second, as she did in 2011. But she did exude a renewed sense of confidence and poise that have been lacking since her horrific crash in Schladming two years ago. Along the way, Vonn inched herself one step closer to the women’s all-time win record — she now needs just two to tie Annemarie Moser-Proell — and picked up a second podium in a second discipline in her first week back.

“I felt like I was skiing aggressively. I felt like I was pretty clean on the top,” said Vonn. “Honestly, my timing wasn’t quite right. I was a little bit late on some turns, a little late with my pressure. I got wide. I think I carried pretty good speed onto the flats, but my timing was off on a couple gates. For all the mistakes, I’m happy with second place. It was a solid day, and for the lack of training that I’ve had, it’s been a phenomenal weekend.”

Prior to Sunday’s race, Vonn said she wasn’t sure about the status of her super G skiing. She hadn’t had any training on really hard snow, as was the case in Lake Louise, so she was as eager to see where she stacked up against everyone else.

“I just need a little bit more training,” said Vonn. “I’m going to go back home to Vail and train in Beaver Creek, and hopefully get enough training to where my timing better for the next races in Val d’Isere — if we have them in Val d’Isere — but I think I’m a solid podium skier right now.”

Vonn is still not sure of her schedule moving forward into the season. She expects race all the speed events — tech is still up in the air. She’ll likely come home after Val d’Isere and take a break, train in Vail and then head back over to Europe.

“I am so happy with my results here this weekend,” said Vonn. “It’s so much more than I had hoped for. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I was able to make improvements every day. It was all-around a perfect weekend and a perfect way to start the season.”

Meanwhile, atop the podium, Lara Gut also said her run was something short of perfect.

“It was just a really straight set. You had to risk everything. When I got into the finish and saw that I was eight-tenths ahead, I thought, ‘This is cool.’ … It’s the first time I am able to win at the same place I’ve won before. It’s funny that it happened in Lake Louise.”

U.S. women’s head speed coach Stefan Abplanalp had a similar assessment of the course on Sunday. “The course was really on a fast line,” he said. “You had to attack it. Not over-ski it. Stick to the fall line as much as possible.”

For the new coach Abplanalp, you couldn’t have asked for a much better speed week in Lake Louise. In his opening effort, the U.S. team snagged 10 top-10 finishes, including an American sweep of the downhill podium on Saturday. (Yes, that’s the first time it’s ever happened).

“It was amazing. Those results don’t come every day,” said Abplanalp. “We are excited, but we have to keep our feet on the ground, stay focused and take our confidence into the next races.”

On Sunday, Julia Mancuso was the second-best American finisher in sixth position, her third top 10 of the weekend. She skied in front of Stacey Cook, who started first and finished in 23rd. Laurenne Ross skied to 24th, Katie Ryan 42nd, Alice McKennis 43rd and Jackie Wiles 47th.

For Tina Maze, the podium third-place result on Sunday is her third of the season — in a third discipline. It comes on the heels of two victories, one in slalom and one in downhill. Maze told Ski Racing earlier in the week that motivation was a big problem for her during the World Cup season last year — that she put all her emphasis on the Olympics.

“I’m really happy about my week,” Maze said. “I had something in reserve today. After yesterday’s risk that I took on the downhill, I was a little more calm today. (When I came down), I was sure it was not enough to win. I had a feeling there was a lot more I could do up there on the hill, so I figured the others can ski faster if they want.”

THE SCOOP

by Hank McKee

  1. Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  2. Vonn, Head/Head/Head
  3. Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
  4. Rebensburg, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
  5. Huetter, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
  6. Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
  7. Weirather, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  8. Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
  9. Merighetti, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  10. Kling, Head/Head/Head

Women’s World Cup super G, Lake Louise, Canada, Dec. 7, 2014:

  • It is the seventh race of the women’s 35 race 2014-15 World Cup calendar … the first of eight scheduled super G’s. … It is the final of five World Cup races slated for Lake Louise this season, the third of three for women. … Lara Gut is the defending champion. … Renate Goetschl, Katja Seizinger and Lindsey Vonn have each won three Lake Louise super G’s.
  • It is the 11th career World Cup win for Lara Gut … her second consecutive SG win at Lake Louise. .. Winning margin is .37. … It is her seventh career SG win. … she and Martina Schild are the only Swiss women to win the Lake Louise super G.
  • It is Lindsey Vonn’s 33rd career World Cup super G podium … her 22nd podium at Lake Louise.
  • It is the 71st career World Cup podium result for Tina Maze … her 14th in super G. … It is just her second podium at Lake Louise, both recorded this season.
  • It is the third top-seven result for Julia Mancuso for the weekend. … It is the third score of the season for Larisa Yurkiw, all at Lake Louise. … It is the 13th best career super G result for Stacey Cook … her third best at Lake Louise. … It is the 15th career scoring super G finish for Laurenne Ross.
  • Tina Maze (third in race) maintains her lead of the World Cup overall standings 380-263 over Anna Fenninger (eighth in race). … Kathrin Zettel (did not race) holds third at 150pts. Lindsey Vonn moves to fourth at 212pts, ahead of fifth-ranked Mikaela Shiffrin (did not race) with 209pts.
  • Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 1369-853 over the U.S. … Sweden is third with 555pts and Canada in ninth at 161pts.

 

RESULTS

 1  17  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI  1:18.46  0.00
 2  19  537544 VONN Lindsey 1984 USA  1:18.83  +0.37  5.09
 3  16  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  1:19.27  +0.81  11.15
 4  12  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER  1:19.33  +0.87  11.98
 5  24  56128 HUETTER Cornelia 1992 AUT  1:19.37  +0.91  12.53
 6  9  537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA  1:19.43  +0.97  13.35
 7  20  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:19.59  +1.13  15.55
 8  18  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT  1:19.63  +1.17  16.11
 9  23  296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela 1981 ITA  1:19.88  +1.42  19.55
 10  21  505886 KLING Kajsa 1988 SWE  1:19.91  +1.45  19.96
 11  15  55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT  1:19.92  +1.46  20.10
 12  22  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT  1:20.03  +1.57  21.61
 13  10  55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole 1989 AUT  1:20.05  +1.59  21.89
 14  32  56125 PUCHNER Mirjam 1992 AUT  1:20.16  +1.70  23.40
 15  35  196968 BAILET Margot 1990 FRA  1:20.23  +1.77  24.36
 15  13  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI  1:20.23  +1.77  24.36
 15  8  296431 STUFFER Verena 1984 ITA  1:20.23  +1.77  24.36
 18  5  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina 1981 SPA  1:20.25  +1.79  24.64
 18  4  515766 SUTER Fabienne 1985 SUI  1:20.25  +1.79  24.64
 20  34  106849 YURKIW Larisa 1988 CAN  1:20.29  +1.83  25.19
 21  28  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:20.30  +1.84  25.33
 22  27  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO  1:20.50  +2.04  28.08
 23  1  537582 COOK Stacey 1984 USA  1:20.53  +2.07  28.49
 24  39  538573 ROSS Laurenne 1988 USA  1:20.57  +2.11  29.04
 25  11  55766 STERZ Regina 1985 AUT  1:20.62  +2.16  29.73
 26  47  196812 PELLISSIER Marion 1988 FRA  1:20.63  +2.17  29.87
 27  7  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth 1991 NOR  1:20.69  +2.23  30.70
 28  49  296427 SCHNARF Johanna 1984 ITA  1:20.87  +2.41  33.17
 29  26  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  1:20.89  +2.43  33.45
 30  30  298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA  1:20.91  +2.45  33.72
 31  2  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:20.99  +2.53  34.83
 32  56  107613 GRENIER Valerie 1996 CAN  1:21.13  +2.67  36.75
 32  31  516319 SUTER Corinne 1994 SUI  1:21.13  +2.67  36.75
 32  29  196460 JAY MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie 1985 FRA  1:21.13  +2.67  36.75
 35  33  195983 ROLLAND Marion 1982 FRA  1:21.24  +2.78  38.27
 36  14  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA  1:21.28  +2.82  38.82
 37  38  56088 TIPPLER Tamara 1991 AUT  1:21.35  +2.89  39.78
 38  43  155563 KRIZOVA Klara 1989 CZE  1:21.36  +2.90  39.92
 39  45  206460 WENIG Michaela 1992 GER  1:21.55  +3.09  42.53
 39  36  197295 PIOT Jennifer 1992 FRA  1:21.55  +3.09  42.53
 41  52  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT  1:21.56  +3.10  42.67
 42  42  539685 RYAN Katie 1993 USA  1:21.59  +3.13  43.08
 43  51  538685 MCKENNIS Alice 1989 USA  1:21.68  +3.22  44.32
 44  40  516219 NUFER Priska 1992 SUI  1:21.77  +3.31  45.56
 45  3  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA  1:21.80  +3.34  45.98
 46  55  296472 FANCHINI Elena 1985 ITA  1:21.83  +3.37  46.39
 47  44  539536 WILES Jacqueline 1992 USA  1:21.92  +3.46  47.63
 47  37  56177 VENIER Stephanie 1993 AUT  1:21.92  +3.46  47.63
 49  57  565333 BRODNIK Vanja 1989 SLO  1:22.10  +3.64  50.10
 50  25  206367 HRONEK Veronique 1991 GER  1:22.35  +3.89  53.55
 51  53  485632 BEDAREVA Maria 1992 RUS  1:22.59  +4.13  56.85
 52  41  539363 GHENT Abby 1992 USA  1:22.87  +4.41  60.70
 53  46  516145 KUENG Mirena 1988 SUI  1:22.93  +4.47  61.53
 54  58  375018 COLETTI Alexandra 1983 MON  1:22.94  +4.48  61.67
 55  54  435245 CHRAPEK Karolina 1990 POL  1:23.83  +5.37  73.92
Disqualified 1st run
 48  245066 MIKLOS Edit 1988 HUN
Did not finish 1st run
 50  515782 ABDERHALDEN Marianne 1986 SUI
 6  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN

 

Article Tags: Alpine, Top Story

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Geoff Mintz
- Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism.
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