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Vonn Crushes Cortina DH; Now Second Overall
Vonn led from the start as she overtook Mancuso to win with a time of 1:36.70. Downhill world champion Anja Paerson of Sweden, who edged Vonn at the championships last February, was second in 1:37.53 with Canadian Emily Brydon completing the podium. It's Vonn's eighth World Cup DH triumph, putting her one back of childhood idol Picabo Street and Daron Rahlves as the most successful U.S. downhiller. She also has won two super Gs (Bode Miller has won five times) and a super combined.
Mancuso covered the 2.8K course in 1:38.18 with Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 27th and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 29th. After 19 races, Austrian Nicole Hosp, who did not run Saturday, has 699 points to 638 for Vonn with Mancuso sixth at 559.
Vonn played it safe, stuck to her plan
Skiing immediately after Mancuso, Vonn began shredding the Olympia delle Tofane run right out of the gate. She led by 0.75 seconds at the first interval timing checkpoint, added a hundredth of a second by the next interval, was up 1.26 at the third split and led by 1.48 at the final split before the finish.
"It was awesome. I really had fast skis today," Vonn said. "I skied well and that in combination with my Rossignols being so fast, it all worked out well.
"I got a little late in some sections, but I had a faster line. I wasn't taking too many risks. I just tried to ski a good, clean line and not go too straight," she said. "I could feel my skis were so fast. I was trying to keep up with them because it was like they just wanted to go faster."
Her first World Cup top-3 came in Cortina, almost two years ago to the day. She got her first top-5 in a downhill Jan. 17, 2004 and reached her first podium the next day in another DH. "It's definitely a challenging hill. There are a lot of sections where you have to ski really well.
"You can't make a mistake because you have to keep your speed up all the way down. I felt the key was the top first two sections and I skied well through there. But once you do that, then you have to maintain it to the bottom," she added.
Coach "It's pretty simple..."
Head Coach Patrick Riml said, "Lindsey was really impressive. After just one training run [because of midweek snows], she looked at video last night with Alex [Hoedlmoser, DH head coach] and made some adjustments from the training run.
"It's pretty simple - you just have to be fastest and Lindsey did a great job doing that," he said. A couple of mistakes at the top of the run cost Mancuso, who skied well through the bottom as she took the lead momentarily. "If Jules cleans things up, she'll be set for the super Gs tomorrow and Monday."
The women race back-to-back SGs over the next two days. When a couple of feet of snow hit Cortina Wednesday and Thursday, organizers pushed back the scheduled super G from Friday - originally postponed from last month at the Audi Aspen Winternational in Colorado - to Monday. Live timing will be available Sunday at 5 a.m. ET. WCSN.com will webcast same-day coverage at 10 a.m. ET.
For photos from this race click here.
Audio and video of the U.S. Ski Team in Cortina is available here.
2008 AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA - Jan. 19, 2008
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:36.70
2. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:37.53
3. Emily Brydon, Canada, 1:37.90
4. Kelly VanderBeek, Canada, 1:37.94
5. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:37.96
7. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:38.18
27. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:39.99
29. Libby Ludlow, Bellevue, WA, 1:40.08
33. Leanne Smith, Conway, NH, 1:40.63
40. Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 1:41.66