Lindsey Vonn finished seventh in a World Cup downhill race Saturday and lost more than half of her standings lead in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Vonn was 1.4 seconds slower than Liechtenstein winner Tina Weirather, who stood on top of a World Cup podium for the first time since Dec. 22, 2013.
Of more concern to Vonn was Austrian Anna Fenninger, who took second, .51 behind, and moved from 79 points behind Vonn in the World Cup downhill standings to a deficit of 35.
There is one more World Cup downhill left this season, in two weeks at the World Cup Finals in Meribel, France. If Vonn and Fenninger repeat their results from Saturday, Fenninger will win the downhill season title by nine points.
“I’ve never skied Meribel before,” Vonn told media in Garmisch. “I’m at a bit of a disadvantage.”
Vonn captured six straight World Cup downhill titles from 2008 through 2013 before missing almost all of the 2014 season due to knee surgeries. She is one shy of Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell‘s record of seven season titles.
Vonn had finished no worse than second in three previous downhills at Garmisch, where she formerly stayed during Christmas holidays.
Also Saturday, Fenninger, the reigning World Cup overall champion, gained 20 points on this season’s World Cup overall leader, Slovenian Tina Maze.
Fenninger is now within 24 points of Maze with seven scheduled races left, beginning with a super-G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Sunday.
In men’s action Saturday, Austrian Hannes Reichelt won a downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. Reichelt moved within 20 points of Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud for that World Cup season title with one downhill left.
Travis Ganong was the top American in sixth. Austrians have won five straight men’s World Cup races.