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Skiing - 05. February 2009.

Vonn Fastest in DH Training

VAL d'ISERE, France - The U.S. Ski Team's Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was fastest in the second day of downhill training at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Val d'Isere Thursday.

Vonn had trouble in the first training run on Wednesday, coming to a near complete stop at one point. Thursday, she skied cleanly, standing up through the finish line in 1:18.65, a .38 second margin over France's Marie Marchand-Arvier. The women's training was shortened to the super G start due to wind and snow at the top of the Rhone-Alpes course.

"It was important for me to get one full training run in before tomorrow,"said Vonn. "I like it [the course] a lot, but it's very, very challenging. It's the most technically demanding downhill we have on the circuit."

Vonn skied the run with confidence, but clearly held back a bit. "I have a good feeling on my skis," she said. "I'm relaxed and just trying to execute the line. Today was just a training run and tomorrow there will be a lot more attack.

"I feel like if I have a good clean run and execute the line then I'm at the top," she said. "But World Championships are a little more difficult because everyone's attacking and  you only have one chance. If I have two clean runs tomorrow [super combined], I can get a medal. But if Anja [Paerson] skis well, she can beat me, and Maria Riesch, as well.

This weekend will mark the first time the courses have been used for downhill races. The women have skied training runs in the past, but no race. The men have had training runs and two super combined downhills, but no standalone downhill.

"It was an advantage [to have had training runs last season] but the top section is a bit more turny than in the spring," she said. "In super G it helped, I knew the hill already how technical the turns were going to be."

Action continues Friday with the women's super combined, with the downhill at 5:00 a.m. ET and slalom at 8:00 a.m.  ET. U.S. fans can watch live on UniversalSports.com, with same-day coverage on Universal Sports TV. NBC Sports will carry coverage this weekend with programs Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET featuring same-day coverage of the men's downhill and Sunday at 4:00 p.m.  ET with the women's downhill.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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