CORTINA d'AMPEZZO, Italy - Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) expanded her overall lead in the Audi FIS World Cup Sunday, finishing 10th in a giant slalom in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Kathrin Zettel picked up the win leading an all Austrian top three.
Vonn was fifth out of the first run, but some contact with a snow shelf slowed her down.
"The course crew did a great job getting the course ready with the meter of snow that fell, but it was still pretty soft in sections and it shelved up," Vonn said. "Unfortunately I caught one of those shelves and I went down on my hip on a flat section in the middle of the course. I just did my best to get down after that. It was important to get the points and it was still a top 10, which is great."
According to Women's Alpine Head Coach Jim Tracy, the hip check is a minor thing that Vonn can learn from.
"She knows she can ski well. As usual, eliminate the little mistakes and good things can happen," Tracy said.
For Tracy, the course in Cortina is challenging in comparison to other World Cup venues. When athletes have been on the road for a long period, it can test them.
"This course is tough. It's the longest one they run. The second run alone was 1:29, which is extremely long," Tracy said. "The women who have been doing all the events are starting to get tired."
After her struggle in the giant slalom, Vonn is happy to retain her status in the World Cup standings and looks forward to trying to extend her lead on Monday in a super G.
"I'm happy to keep the points lead and to extend on it. Giant slalom is my weakest event," Vonn said. "Super G is one of my strongest events and I can go for the win. I definitely expect to be on the podium and I'll be shooting for it. Hopefully the course holds up well and I can put down a good run."
"As far as today goes, it's done and we have to focus on tomorrow's race. Everyone is in the same boat and we have to be ready to go tomorrow," Tracy said.
OFFICIAL RESULTS 2009 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy - Jan. 25, 2009 Women's Giant Slalom
1. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 2:47.10 2. Michaela Kirchgasser, Austria, 2:48.49 3. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 2:48.81 4. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 2:49.09 5. Taina Barioz, France, 2:49.24 - 10. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 2:49.99 24. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 2:52.26 - DNF1: Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO), Keely Kelleher (Big Sky, MT) DNQ1: Stacey Cook (Mammoth, CA), Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Megan McJames (Park City, UT) # # #