Vonn stays on a super-G roll
BANSKO, Bulgaria – World Cup overall leader and downhill champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) won her fourth consecutive super-G Sunday to move within 15 points of the discipline lead behind second place finisher Fabienne Suter of Switzerland.
Vonn, who clinched her second straight downhill title Saturday, has won the last three World Cup super-G races and captured gold in the discipline to open the World Championships last month. She then went on to win gold in downhill.
With six races to go, Vonn leads the overall World Cup standings by 391 points over best friend Maria Riesch of Germany. No American woman has ever won back-to-back World Cup overall titles or captured two discipline titles in the same season.
“I really wanted to have a win here in Bansko,” Vonn said. “Really the fans have been incredible and today was a great end to the weekend. I was able to secure the downhill globe, I made good points for the overall and I’m right in there for the super G title now. All in all, it was a great weekend and I hope we come back to Bansko.”
Vonn’s flawless run of 1:14.49 bested Suter by over a half a second and third place finisher Tina Maze by .91 seconds. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley) was 16th, and Stacey Cook of Mammoth was 31st.
“What she’s doing right now is pretty amazing,” said U.S. Ski Team speed head coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “We started this run in Garmisch when I set the course and she won. Since then she’s had an incredible amount of confidence in super-G. With Lindsey, that’s all it takes.”
During her run to the 2008 overall title, Vonn amassed 1403 points. She has 1556 so far this season. The difference: slalom. Last season, Vonn finished 32nd in the slalom standings with 46 points. Fast forward to 2009 and Vonn has 440 points, thanks in part to two wins.
Vonn is currently top 10 in all World Cup disciplines and her 20th World Cup win Sunday cements her status as the most successful women’s ski racer in American history.
“I’m pretty psyched with this because yesterday she wasn’t all that happy,” said Hoedlmoser. “Even though she secured the downhill title, she wasn’t thinking about that. She was only thinking about that race and it didn’t turn out that well for her. But today, she took that anger she had from yesterday and put it down the hill. She skied awesome and showed the world she’s right there with super-G.”
The women’s tour now rolls to Ofterschwang, Germany for a giant slalom and a slalom prior to the March 9-15 World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden. The consummate goal setter, Vonn has already turned her Sweden focus to super-G.
“I’m going to try to be rested and well prepared,” she said. “My main focus is going to be on the super-G. The strategy is that I have to attack. I have to try to win the race. I think Fabienne and also Fanchini will be fighting as well. There isn’t an option for conservative skiing.”
The Bansko super =G will air later Sunday on the Unversal Sports 24-hour TV network and is available on demand at http://www.UniversalSports.com.
AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
1. Linsdsey Vonn, Vail, Colo., 1:14.49
2. Fabienne Suter, Switzerland, 1:15.07
3. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 1:15.40
4. Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 1:15.64
5T. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, Switzerland, 1:15.82
5T. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:15.82
Other U.S. results
16. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, 1:16.80
26. Keely Kelleher, Big Sky, Mont., 1:17.70
31. Stacey Cook, Mammoth, 1:18.17
32. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, Vt., 1:18.41
37. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, Minn., 1:19.94