Vail’s Vonn second in World Cup downhill
TARVISIO, Italy ” Lindsey Vonn lost to Gina Stechert of Germany by a slim 0.01 seconds in the World Cup downhill on Saturday.
Vonn, who remained tied with Tamara McKinney for the U.S. women’s record of 18 World Cup victories, increased her lead in the overall standings.
Taking advantage of an early start, Stechert wound her way down the Prampero course in 1 minute, 59.94 seconds. Vonn finished a fraction behind, and Anja Paerson of Sweden was third.
“It’s a little bit disappointing,” Vonn said. “To lose by one-hundredth is always difficult, but I still got points for the overall, and for the downhill, too.”
Vonn started 17th and was 0.08 ahead of Stechert through three straight checkpoints before losing her lead where the changing snow conditions had the biggest impact.
Vonn skied again with a specially designed splint on her right hand. She sliced her thumb last week on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating a sweep of the speed races ” downhill and super-G ” at the world championships.
The 21-year-old Stechert won her first World Cup event. Her best previous finish was fourth in a downhill in December in Lake Louise, Alberta.
“I had a great feeling during my run, and I confirmed my thoughts when I saw my time,” Stechert said.
Stechert was the fifth skier out of the gate, and warmer conditions slowed the later competitors on the 2.04-mile course, the longest for the women this season.
Vonn leads the overall World Cup standings with 1,274 points. Maria Riesch, who finished 10th, is next with 1,061 points, and Paerson is third with 960.
“I really need to build up my advantage over the next two weeks,” Vonn said. “I don’t want to have too much stress at finals, and Maria
and Anja are still skiing
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