Italians sweep downhill on tough day for Lindsey Vonn, U.S.

Leave a comment

Sofia Goggia led an Italian podium sweep of a World Cup downhill, while Lindsey Vonn and the Americans all finished outside the top 10 on Sunday.

Goggia, 25, notched her first victory this season and since winning both races at the PyeongChang Olympic venue last March among 13 podiums total in the campaign.

She prevailed by 1.10 seconds over countrywoman Federica Brignone.

Nadia Fanchini was third on a tricky, shortened course in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria.

Laurenne Ross was the top American in 13th, with Vonn skiing conservatively for 27th place, 3.03 seconds slower than Goggia. Vonn waved off after finishing her run.

Full results are here.

“I knew it was going to be a struggle,” Vonn said. “Really poor visibility and pretty icy and bumpy conditions. … I really had no grip on the ice. Felt like I was skiing on marbles.

“This course takes a lot of aggression and really willing to risk everything. I’m just not willing to risk everything right now. I’ve been waiting eight years for the Olympics. I’m not necessarily disappointed in my result because it honestly doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that I’m healthy, and I didn’t end my season this weekend.”

Tough snow conditions dogged the venue all week, with one training run canceled and another shortened before racing started with a super-G on Saturday.

Another downhill training run was squeezed in hours before Sunday morning’s event.

Vonn didn’t commit to racing either day until seeing the course conditions. She was ninth in Saturday’s super-G, which marked her second-best result in eight races this season (one victory).

Ross’ 13th-place finish Sunday can be considered a bright spot.

The Sochi Olympian raced downhill, scared, for the first time since blowing out her right knee in a March 27 crash.

“These are the most difficult conditions I’ve skied in since I’ve been injured,” Ross said. “I definitely had a lot of doubt and fear an anxiety. … It didn’t feel good, but I suppose nobody’s run felt that great.”

The World Cup moves to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, next weekend, with Vonn and World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin headlining.

They are the final races before the full U.S. Olympic Alpine team will be named.

Vonn, Shiffrin, Resi Stiegler and Megan McJames have already qualified for the team.

The big-name question mark is Julia Mancuso, who has raced twice since March 2015 due to hip problems, finishing 42nd and 45th in December super-Gs.

Mancuso, 33, is the most decorated U.S. female Olympic skier with four medals.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin’s dominance rarely seen in sports, let alone skiing

Lindsey Vonn misses podium as Italian wins super-G (video)

1 Comment

Lindsey Vonn stayed on her feet but didn’t have the speed to match Italian Federica Brignone in her first race of 2018.

Vonn finished ninth, 1.43 seconds behind Brignone in a World Cup super-G in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, on Saturday.

Vonn did mathematically clinch a spot on her fourth Olympic team, though that was never in doubt.

Full results are here.

“On the bottom I wasn’t as aggressive I should have been,” Vonn told media in Austria. “I was a little bit too conservative. It’s kind of funny because I skied the harder sections better and then the easier sections worse.”

Vonn raced for the first time in nearly a month. The World Cup tour’s previous nine events were slaloms and giant slaloms that Vonn does not favor.

Vonn came into Saturday’s race prioritizing staying healthy ahead of the Olympics over potentially taking risks to increase her chances of winning World Cups.

She was not certain to even start the super-G given poor course conditions this week, including canceled and shortened downhill training runs.

Vonn has one victory in seven starts this season but also crashed twice in December and withdrew before two other races due to back and knee injuries.

She remains eight wins shy of the World Cup record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn said on Austrian TV this week that she does not plan to retire without breaking the record, according to The Associated Press.

The World Cup continues with a downhill Sunday at 5 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin is sitting out this weekend’s races but does plan to compete at speed races in Italy next weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin’s dominance rarely seen in sports, let alone skiing

Lindsey Vonn’s record chase again postponed in Austria

Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn must take her pursuit of history to Italy after high winds canceled a second straight day of planned World Cup racing in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, on Sunday.

Eleven racers went on Sunday before the race was stopped and later scrapped. Vonn would have been the 20th racer to go.

Vonn agreed with the decision not to race, comparing the situation to the 2013 World Championships in Schladming, Austria, where she crashed after landing from a jump on soft snow and needed season-ending knee surgery.

“I lost two years because of that,” Vonn, who missed the Sochi Olympics after trying to come back too soon from the 2013 injury, said according to The Associated Press. “I think it’s too dangerous. If it was a training today, I wouldn’t be skiing at all.”

Vonn, who is one victory from tying the women’s World Cup wins record, is next expected to race in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, next weekend with a downhill Saturday and a super-G Sunday.

Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to lead the field in the next World Cup race, a slalom in Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday.

Video: Hannah Kearney beaten by Justine Dufour-Lapointe in Deer Valley farewell