|BORMIO, Italy (March 14) - Newly crowned champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), in the final race of the World Cup season, moved from 12th after the first run to finish seventh in Saturday's giant slalom in Bormio. Austria's Elisabeth Goergl picked up the win. Italian Denise Karbon had already clinched the title with a dominating season. Goergl won in 2:24.96, .07 ahead of Italy's Manuela Moelgg. Vonn was .71 back from the winner.|
In what is becoming Lindsey Vonn style, the champion had the second fastest second run to land her second best career GS finish. She had been sixth in Ofterschwang, Germany in January.
Vonn was very pleased with her performance, and with the fact that she could relax now that racing was over and enjoy the fruits of her labors. "I still had a race today and had my game face on," she said. "But now I'm going to get down and relax, and think about the season and enjoy it. And I think it will be a little emotional for me tonight when we take pictures with the globe."
The week in Bormio had a special significance for Vonn, who came away from the 2005 World Championships in Bormio/Santa Caterina with a pair of near misses. "The first time I was here was not a happy time for me," she said, reflecting. "To come back here this week and turn everything around, and just finish out the season strong in every event, has been incredible."
While her best event, downhill, was cancelled, Vonn took advantage of the others to have season best or near best finishes in super G (second), slalom (11th) and giant slalom (7th).
There were no titles at stake in the GS finale, with Karbon having locked up the title earlier after a sensational season winning five of seven races. Karbon finished eighth, the first time she was not on a GS podium this season.
Vonn was also quizzed on her hairstyling, having cut Ted Ligety's long locks into a mullet after his title on Friday. "I think it turned out well for the look he was going for," she said laughing. "It's funny! He's a character, and I had a fun time cutting his hair. He probably won't ever ask me to do it again."
She also reflected on the American who came before her 25 years ago, Tamara McKinney. "Tamara was a great champion and it was really an honor to get to talk to her after the season." Vonn hadn't even been born when McKinney and Phil Mahre shared overall titles that year. Mahre and McKinney combined to win four globes (overall and giant slaloms) that year. This time around, it was three U.S. athletes winning five titles.
The race marks the end of the World Cup Finals individual events in Bormio. Competition wraps up with a team event Sunday, featuring four to six athletes from each team. Seven teams are entered. The U.S. is not planning to compete. "We're disappointed to not take part, but we're fighting a lot of late season injuries and we realistically don't have enough healthy bodies," said Alpine Director Jesse Hunt.
Vonn will now head to the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships which open next weekend in Sugarloaf, ME.
Audi FIS Alpine World Cup
Bormio, Italy - March 14, 2008
Women's Giant Slalom
1. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 2:24.96
2. Manuela Moelgg, Italy, 2:25.03
3. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 2:24.26
4. Ingrid Jacquemod, France, 2:25.28
5. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 2:25.35
7. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 2:25.67
Did not finish first run:
Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA
Click below for complete results:
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com