Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn wins Worlds super-G bronze behind Anna Fenninger

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Lindsey Vonn won her first major championship medal in four years, bronze in the World Championships super-G behind Austrian Anna Fenninger, who followed her Olympic title with Worlds gold.

Vonn, who crashed in the 2013 World Championships super-G, requiring the first of two right leg surgeries that forced her to miss the Sochi Olympics, was .15 of a second behind Fenninger in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Slovenia’s Tina Maze, the 2013 World champion, snagged silver in wind conditions that Vonn called “ridiculous” and forced the start to be moved down and delayed by 30 minutes.

“That’s unfortunate for a World Championship event,” Vonn said of the wind on NBCSN. “I’m disappointed, but at the same time, I’m happy. A World Championships medal is always a good thing.”

Vonn, the 2009 World super-G champion, entered as the race favorite after winning the last two World Cup super-Gs before Worlds in January.

But Vonn was the 17th fastest skier in the opening section of the course — about the first 13 seconds. Fenninger was .61 better.

And Vonn knew she was slow, perhaps held back by a wind gust.

“My mindset was that I’m screwed,” Vonn said in a press conference, adding she wished she could have a do-over. “It’s not a very positive way to start the run. … Sometimes good skiing is enough to overcome the weather, and sometimes it’s not. Today it wasn’t enough, but I have to say that Fenninger skied exceptionally well. She definitely deserved to win the gold medal today.”

Complete results

She captured her sixth career World Championships medal, breaking her tie with Bode MillerTed Ligety and Julia Mancuso for most by an American.

Vonn will next race in the downhill Friday. Again, she is the favorite.

“Hopefully have some more fair weather conditions,” Vonn said on NBCSN. “I came in here confident. I still am.”

Vonn, the 18th skier to go Tuesday, took the lead for about 2 minutes. Maze, skiing 19th, snatched it away before Fenninger, skiing 22nd, took the advantage for good.

“I didn’t know that it was so fast, so I was surprised in the finish line that the green light was on [indicating I had the lead],” Fenninger told NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno.

Fenninger became the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic and Worlds super-G gold medals.

“It was a big dream to be a World champion in the super-G,” Fenninger said. “I had the luck that I could be an Olympic medalist in the super-G … that I can be World champion, too, is so amazing.”

Maze is expected to enter all five races at the World Championships, and she could win a medal in each of them. She owns 11 combined Olympic and Worlds medals.

Julia Mancuso, who won Worlds bronze in the super-G in 2013, finished ninth Tuesday.

The men’s super-G is on Wednesday, including defending champion Ligety and, possibly, Miller in his first race of the season following November back surgery.

World Championships: Men’s preview | Women’s preview | Broadcast schedule

Women’s Super-G
Gold: Anna Fenninger (AUT) — 1:10.29
Silver: Tina Maze (SLO) — 1:10.32
Bronze: Lindsey Vonn (USA) — 1:10.44
9. Julia Mancuso (USA) — 1:11.94
13. Stacey Cook (USA) — 1:12.22
15. Laurenne Ross (USA) — 1:12.30

Cyclist in induced coma after Tour of Poland crash

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Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put into an induced coma Wednesday after suffering injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour of Poland, organizers said.

A massive crash at the finish of the first stage resulted in Dylan Groenewegen‘s disqualification from the race.

Leading a bunch sprint, Groenewegen veered toward the right barrier, pinching countryman Jakobsen, who barreled into the barrier meters from the finish line.

Jakobsen went head over heels, his bike went airborne and the barriers exploded onto the road, causing more cyclists to crash.

Jakobsen was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition and was put into an induced coma, the Tour de Pologne press office said.

Groenewegen crossed the finish line first but was disqualified, giving Jakobsen the stage win, according to the stage race website.

Groenewegen, a 27-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider, owns four Tour de France stage wins among the last three years.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) “strongly condemned” Groenewegen’s “dangerous” and “unacceptable” behavior. It referred Groenewegen’s actions to a disciplinary commission for possible sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to a Russian media quote confirmed by Phil Hersh.

The ISU has not confirmed or denied Lakernik’s assertion.

Most, if not all, top-level U.S. skaters train in the U.S. or Canada. That makes the first two Grand Prix stops — Skate America and Skate Canada — likely destinations. Grand Prix assignments have not been published.

“I appreciate the ISU is open to adapting competitive formats and is working to give athletes opportunities to compete,” Evan Bates, a U.S. ice dance champion with Madison Chock who trains in Montreal, wrote in a text message to Hersh. “This announcement gives reassurance that the ISU is doing their best to ensure a season will still take place. Of course, it’s hard to predict what will happen, and we’re not sure about what country we would compete in. It would probably depend on what the quarantine rules are at that time.”

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, who cannot enter the senior Grand Prix until 2021.

Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement that it will have more details on the Grand Prix Series in the coming weeks after collaborating with an ISU-appointed group.

“This is a great example of the figure skating community coming together to ensure that the world’s premier figure skating series will continue during these challenging times,” the statement read. “Figure skaters want to compete and figure skating fans from all around the world want to see their favorite athletes skate, and this format will ensure just that.”

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