|ZWIESEL, Germany (March 2) - World Cup overall leader Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) remains 54 points ahead of Austrian Nicole Hosp, the same margin she held going into the weekend, as storms forced organizers to scrap both the slalom and giant slalom races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Zwiesel. With only two weeks remaining in the World Cup season, the races will not be rescheduled.|
"We got up there and it was so windy," said Vonn. "The gondola was swinging back and forth so we just sat in the lodge through the postponements until they called it. Tech races almost never get cancelled and I would have liked to race today, the snow on the hill was really good."
After missing the podium or a win by .01 seconds five times this season, including last week's downhill in Whistler, BC, Vonn said she's viewing the cancelled weekend as a little retribution.
"It's tough when you miss out by a hundredth, let alone miss out by a hundredth five times in the same season, but it comes back around. I would rather have raced the full season, but you can't control the weather," she said.
The storm, code-named Emma by German meteorologists, lashed the northern fringes of the Alps. Winds ripped tiles from roofs and toppled billboards gusting up to 125 mph. The high winds were accompanied by hail, flurries of snow and thunderstorms in parts of southern Germany. Race officials postponed the start of the race twice before calling it off.
With a downhill and a super combined remaining in Crans Montana, Switzerland, before World Cup Finals, Vonn leads Hosp for the overall World Cup title 1,103 to 1,049 points. She has already locked the World Cup downhill crystal globe after winning four DH races this season and is just 40 points shy of Germany's Maria Reisch for the super combined title.
"It was the same scenario as yesterday with wind, rain, the whole spiel," said Head Coach Patrick Riml. "There was absolutely no chance to have the race. It was the right decision. To tell you the truth, it's not such a bad call for Lindsey. She's going to come out of this weekend with the same lead on Hosp as she had going in with only speed races left before World Cup Finals, she's in a really good position."
Vonn's DH title made her the first American woman, and only the second in U.S. history, to win a World Cup title since her childhood hero Picabo Street captured the same honor in 1995 and 1996. She and Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) are the first Americans to lead the World Cup standings in 25 years after Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre won the coveted titles in 1983.
World Cup Finals are scheduled for March 12-16 in Bormio, Italy.