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Vonn finishes 8th in Aspen
ASPEN, CO Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) jumped two spots to finish eighth in the Visa Aspen Winternational slalom as Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) celebrated her return to the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup with 25th. Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner clocked in at 1:46.19 for the first World Cup victory of her career.
Versus will air Sunday's slalom at 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 4 and Universal Sports will also carry the race on Dec. 7 at noon.
Vonn put herself in striking distance with 10th in the opening run then produced the fifth fastest second run by attacking the top of an incredibly tight and technical course.
"I mainly want to thank all the fans in Aspen this year, it was a great crowd and a great race," said Vonn. "This is a hill that never quits, you have to attack from top to bottom. I feel like my slalom is in a good place and I have to keep that momentum going."
Stiegler, who missed much of the last three seasons with a string of injuries, proved to fans and herself that she can still charge.
"I've tried the last three years to be in Aspen and I finally made it!" exclaimed Stiegler. "I love Aspen, it's one of my favorite hills. It’s like being home. Today is the most racing I've done in three years. It's time to just start racing."
Starting 21st in the second run, Vonn kept the rhythm and momentum moving to feel a bit of redemption after skiing out in Saturday's giant slalom.
"Yesterday, I was just expecting too much and I was too excited," she said. "Today I relaxed and had two solid runs. It might not have been my fastest skiing I've ever done, but I'm in the top-10 and it's great points."
Stiegler looked strong on the top and was ahead of the pace, before losing some time on the tricky lower section. However, she was all smiles in the finish, raising her poles to the roar of the Aspen crowd.
"I was pretty tired after the first run so I was a little worried that I was going to be that tired on the bottom but it wasn't as bad as the first run. It's been a long long road to get back to this point, but wow does it feel good to be here," said Stiegler.
Following Sunday's race the women's U.S. Ski Team will be splitting up with the speed group heading to Lake Louise for the first speed races of the season, while the technical team heads to Loveland, CO for the opening women's NorAm races.
"I'm just going to get the ball really rolling in Lake Louise and get some confidence for the rest of the season," said Vonn, who has won five consecutive downhill races in Lake Louise. "I feel really comfortable on that hill. It was where I won my first World Cup and I've consistently had success there ever since."
Audi FIS Alpine World Cup
November 28, 2010
1. Marie Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, 1:46.19
2. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:46.87
3. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:47.12
4. Veronika Zuzulova, Slovakia, 1:47.20
5. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 1:47.25
8. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:47.63
25. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:50.67
DNQ: Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Hailey Duke (Boise, ID)
DNF: Megan McJames (Park City, UT), Laurenne Ross (Klamath Falls, OR), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA)
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 93
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day