American Lindsey Vonn produced a faultless run to claim the 38th downhill race victory of her illustrious International Skiing Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup career in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Vonn led at every intermediate time down a demanding 2,740 metre Khandahar course, finally clocking the winning time of 1 min 40.80sec, more than 1.5 seconds quicker than her nearest challengers.
She has now won five of this season’s six downhill races and six of the last seven stretching back to the previous campaign.
“It was definitely a lot different today than it was in the training run,” said Vonn, who has become the first woman to win multiple downhills on the course having also won four years ago.
“Pretty much a totally different course.
“It was about nine seconds faster, so I just had to be tactically smart in some sections and it was definitely bumpy.
“I know a lot of girls were having some trouble with the bumps and it was very flat light in some sections, but I think I just executed well in the right places and was able to carry my speed through the course.”
Vonn’s 76th World Cup win closed the gap on the all-time record of 86 victories held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.
Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter came second, while home crowd favourite Viktoria Rebensburg finished third, 1.51 and 1.57 seconds off the pace respectively.
Suter missed the speed races in the Austrian resort of Altenmarkt-Zauchensee last month after tearing a muscle just above her left knee in a training run, but she showed she had suitably recovered to take a downhill runners-up spot for the third time this campaign.
As for Rebensburg, her performance ensured a third consecutive podium and her first in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
“The first time on the podium in my home race in Garmisch means it is a really nice day for me,” said the German.
“I really enjoy it now.
“Yeah, because it’s special for us, for sure.
“The people were awesome down here.
“Really good atmosphere and I really enjoyed skiing here.”
Vonn now has exactly 1,000 points at the top of the overall standings and has extended her lead over Switzerland’s Lara Gut, who finished 14th in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to 127.
Rebensburg is third on 740 points ahead of the fourth super-G race of the season, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow.
- By Daniel Etchells
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz