|ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 2) - World Cup downhill leader Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) out-lasted a wild ride through light snowfall Saturday to tie for fifth place in a downhill on the 2003 FIS Alpine World Championships speed run. Vonn is second overall and she padded her DH lead as her top challengers finished behind her. The winner, starting 47th on a day of changing weather, was Slovenian Tina Maze.Flat light and poor visibility troubled early skiers before the sun broke through about halfway into the field of 51. The tricky conditions claimed 15 skiers who failed to finish their run, including downhill world champion Anja Paerson of Sweden; eight of the top 30 skiers were from start No. 31 and higher.|
Maze, racing in sunny weather, which enabled skiers to see bumps and trouble spots on the 2.7K Corviglia course, was timed in 1:44.38. Runner-up was Maria Holaus of Austria (1:44.72), who skied eighth.
Vonn, running 16th, finished in 1:44.80, surviving three spots where she could have gone off course. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA), who skied through a fog bank as she started, was 25th with Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 36th. Leanne Smith (Conway, NH) and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) were DNFs in the 20-degree weather.
"Lindsey's just on a different level now, skiing so well and with so much confidence," Head Coach Patrick Riml said. "Unfortunately, when Lindsey was running today the light was not the best. It was dark, I have to say. She just couldn't see the bumps. They caught her off balance a couple of times and she skied amazingly well, making a couple of great saves.
"The problem, though, for our girls was the visibility. If you can't see the bumps, it's hard to adjust," Riml said. "If there's a bump or a little hole, it's very difficult. Jules ran in the fog, Lindsey had the flat light and, really, Stacey skied so much better than her result showed. She skied well."
After 24 races, Austrian Nicole Hosp continues to lead the overall standings with 917 points. Vonn is second overall at 818 with Mancuso fifth (709). After six DHs, with four remaining, Vonn has 475 points to 273 for Renate Goetschl of Austria and 264 for Canadian Britt Janyk.
The women race a super G Sunday to complete their visit to this fashionable resort which hosted the 2003 alpine Worlds and is bidding against Vail and Beaver Creek, CO, for the 2013 championships.
2008 AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
St. Moritz, SUI - Feb. 2, 2008
1. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 1:44.38
2. Maria Holaus, Austria, 1:44.72
3. Lara Gut, Switzerland, 1:44.73
4. Emily Brydon, Canada, 1:44.80
5. (tie) Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, and Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 1:44.80
25. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:46.52
36. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:50.05
Leanne Smith, Conway, NH; Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, WA
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