LA THUILE, Italy — A daughter of skiing royalty, Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein won a slushy super-G Sunday for her first victory of the season while Lindsey Vonn was reminded of her social media gaffe during another podium finish.
Racing in unusually warm weather, Weirather finished 0.57 seconds ahead of Lara Gut with Vonn 0.64 back in third.
It was the fifth career win for Weirather, the daughter of two-time Olympic gold medallist Hanni Wenzel and Harti Weirather, who won downhill gold at the 1982 world championships.
With the temperature soaring well above freezing on the Franco Berthod course in the shadows of Mont Blanc, organizers treated the snow with salt to prevent it from melting.
“They did a really good job on the snow. It was not easy to prepare the course,” Weirather said. “We were already experienced because in Garmisch we had the same problem, it was also like 10 degrees (Celsius, or 50 Fahrenheit) so we kind of knew how to deal with it.
“When you inspect the course in the morning and there’s no salt in it you almost think it’s impossible to have a race and then you still have to get ready for a race and be prepared,” Weirather added.
For Vonn, it was a second consecutive podium result after losing sleep to clean up damage from an ill-advised Facebook post.
Vonn apologized to her equipment supplier Friday after posting a video of an angry outburst in which she destroyed her bindings with a hammer following a downhill where one ski detached.
The DJ during Sunday’s race poked fun at Vonn by playing MC Hammer’s 1990 hit “U Can’t Touch This,” during the American’s run.
“That was funny,” Vonn said. “There’s a lot of jokes out now but I did it to myself.
“Mistakes happen and you just got to move forward and today I was finally 100 per cent focused on the skiing and I felt a lot better,” Vonn added. “I actually got some sleep last night. So now I’m just thinking about racing and that’s what I should be thinking about, because I have a lot of important races coming up.”
With bright sunshine, a crowd of nearly 10,000 showed up, many of them young children clamouring for autographs, and Vonn and the other top skiers had to be escorted off the mountain by police officers on skis.
“That was intense,” Vonn said. “Coming down from the finish was incredible. There were so many kids and I love that. I love the enthusiasm they have for the sport and it makes our job a lot more fun as well.”
Vonn’s overall lead over Gut was reduced to 23 points, while in the super-G ranks she holds a 79-point lead on Gut with three races remaining in the discipline this season.
Fabienne Suter of Switzerland finished fourth and Romane Miradoli of France fifth, while local favourite Federica Brignone of Italy was sixth.
Saturday’s downhill winner Nadia Fanchini and Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany were among those who didn’t finish.
Up next is a special parallel slalom city event in Stockholm for men and women on Tuesday.
While Gut said she would travel to Sweden, Vonn was considering skipping the event over concern about a jump on the temporary course — potentially giving up points to her Swiss rival.
“I have to think about all the consequences, the positives and the negatives and we’ll see,” Vonn said. “The duel is definitely a different beast. I really like duels, actually, but with the jump in there I’m not really sure about it. So I have to make that decision tonight or tomorrow.”
The women’s circuit then travels to Soldeu, Andorra, for a super-G and Alpine combined next weekend.
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press