Vonn wins first female test of Birds of Prey
Funny thing history. Sometimes it just slaps you in the face.
At Beaver Creek Wednesday Lindsey Vonn became the first woman to win on the Birds of Prey course with a less than perfect run that was still good enough to match her with German great Katja Seizinger for the most super G wins in World Cup history (16). It also matched her with Renate Goetschl for third all time for most wins in all disciplines (46). She became the first American racer to win four consecutive World Cup races. And, her win gave America its eighth win of the season, the most ever recorded before the end of December by a US Ski Team. But winning at home, that was what made the race so special to her.
“I have dreamed of racing here since 1999 and of the 46 wins I have so far this is one of the most special.”
“I woke up feeling nervous this morning,” Vonn added. “I listened to some music at the start but it didn’t do much good. When I got to the actual start I was freaking out. I tried to ski aggressive, but it was not a perfect run.”
There’s a few other firsts in there as well. It was her first win of a World Cup on a US course, and stretching for the extreme, there can be no doubt it was the largest crowd for an American World Cup race held on a Wednesday, easily outdrawing the men’s Giant Slalom yesterday.
Vonn ran into some trouble, nearly missing a blind gate about half way down. She was not the fastest out of the start, as has become custom, and she took, lost and retook the lead coming down the hastily created super G course with a newly added section to Bird of Prey being called Raven officially, and Chicken Wing by others.
“I didn’t ski well on top and made some mistakes in the middle,” said Vonn. “I knew if I attacked it (referring to the bottom of the course ) and skied aggressively I could make up some time.”
To put her super G dominance in perspective today’s race was her 14th win in the last 19 World Cup super G’s. There are also four seconds and a third in those 19 races.
The main challengers were among those we have grown accustomed to seeing: four Swiss and three Austrians jammed into the top 10 behind Vonn. But there was also a couple more Americans making their presence felt. Julia Mancuso skied to eighth place, and Leanne Smith just missed the top 10 in 11th.
While Mansuco said the course was so much fun to ski she really didn’t care where she finished, the result was a big one for Smith who has just two results better.
Smith said, “I just knew that my abilities right now are higher than they’ve ever been and I just had to go down there and ski like I did yesterday in training and hope it’s going well. It was definitely a step in the right direction. Last weekend I was really disappointed. I didn’t go at it enough. I definitely tried to do that today on a more difficult course. It’s definitely in the right direction.”
Swiss Fabienne Suter was second, .37 off Vonn’s time, and Austrian Anna Fenninger was third .41 back.
Swiss Martina Schild made a bid to break into the top seed finishing fourth from the second start. First out, and becoming the first woman to race Birds of Prey, was American Stacey Cook.
by HANK McKee
Women’s World Cup super-G, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 7, 2011
1 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
2 Suter, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
4 Schild, Volkl/Lange/Marker
5 Fischbacher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Aufdenblatten, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
8 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
9 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
Women’s World Cup super-G, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 7, 2011. … It is the seventh race of the women’s 40 race 2011-12 World Cup season. … It is the second of seven scheduled super G’s. … and is a make up race originally scheduled at Val d’Isere, France Dec. 11 and moved due to a lack of snow. … It is the 46th Cup race hosted by Beaver Creek and the 13th super G. … It is the first Cup women’s race ever at Beaver Creek. … Lindsey Vonn has won 13 of the last 18 World Cup super G’s prior to this race.
It is the 46th career World Cup win for Lindsey Vonn. … extending her U.S. record and moving her into a tie with Renate Goetschl for third all time among women. … It is her 16th Cup super G win moving her into a tie with Katja Seizinger for most among female skiers. … It is her first Cup win in the U.S. and the first at Beaver Creek in the inaugural race at the site. … It is her fifth victory of the season in six races entered.
It is the 12th career World Cup podium for Fabienne Suter. … her eighth in super G. … Her previous best result of the season is 14th, scored twice in back-to-back downhills at Lake Louise.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium result for Anna Fenninger (without a win) her fourth in super G, and her second of the season having placed second in super G at Lake Louise three days earlier.
It is the 96th career World Cup top 10 for Julia Mancuso, her 27th in super G and her third best result of the season after scoring podium finishes in the Aspen GS Nov. 26 and the Lake Louise SG Dec. 4. …
Leanne Smith matches her third best career Cup finish and marks the fourth time she has finished one placing outside the top 10. … It is the 58th career Cup scoring result for Stacey Cook, who became the first woman to race on Birds of Prey as the first skier in the race.
Vonn leads the World Cup overall standings 522-286 over Viktoria Rebensburg (did not finish). … Elisabeth Goergl (10th in race) sits third overall with 269pts. … Julia Mancuso is fifth with 201. … Michele-Marie Gagnon tops the Canadians in 42nd place with 35pts. … Vonn leads the super G standings 200-140 over Fenninger with Suter third at 94pts. … Mancuso in fourth with 92pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian in 35th with five points. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 1117-885 over the US. … Canada ranks 11th with 53pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|19||41||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR||1:12.72||30.59|
|35||6||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA||1:14.36||55.19|
|44||54||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG||1:16.83||92.23|
|45||53||35079||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG||1:17.04||95.38|
|Did not finish 1st run|