CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Defending overall World Cup champion Lara Gut won her first downhill of the season Saturday, while Lindsey Vonn crashed for the second consecutive day.
Gut finished 0.05 seconds ahead of Sofia Goggia of Italy and 0.47 seconds in front of Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia.
The Swiss skier was competing in the final downhill before her home world championships in St. Moritz.
“There’s no better way to enter Worlds,” Gut said.
The victory reduced Gut’s deficit in the overall standings behind American leader Mikaela Shiffrin to 30 points.
Vonn lost control and slammed into the safety netting in the same spot where she crashed in Friday’s training run.
“I’m OK. I’m a little sore, but hopefully I’ll be fine for tomorrow,” the American said. “I just caught my edge, that’s all.”
After collecting herself, Vonn skied down to the finish area. She had already had a small bobble earlier in her run but was 0.18 seconds ahead of Gut at the first checkpoint just before her crash.
Vonn had asked the International Ski Federation’s race director to smooth out a small lip that gave her trouble in training.
“They changed it, but I still caught air,” Vonn said. “I just caught my edge and did the splits. It happens, unfortunately.”
Vonn, who has won a record 11 races in Cortina, returned earlier this month from nearly a year out with injuries.
Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria, Nicol Delago of Italy and Valerie Grenier of Canada also fell.
Goggia had the Italian crowd going wild before Gut came down and silenced the fans with a perfect performance on the lower section of the Olympia delle Tofane course, which is full of curves.
“I didn’t have a really fast start, but from the middle of the slope, it was getting better and better, and I had more confidence in my skis and [was] really able to finish well,” said Gut, who trailed Goggia at each checkpoint. “It’s better to have the green light at the finish than just at the intervals.”
It was the 23rd win of Gut’s World Cup career and her first downhill victory in Cortina — which is considered the premier stop on the women’s circuit.
As usual, the Olympia delle Tofane course was bathed in sunshine, and skiers hit speeds of 75 mph in the Tofane schuss, a narrow chute between two walls of rock.
“There’s not a place in [the] world where the slope is so [well] prepared,” Gut said. “I wish we had more places like Cortina. It’s just cool.”
It was the eighth podium result this season for Goggia, who is still seeking her first victory. She needs one more podium to match the Italian women’s team record of nine set by Deborah Compagnoni in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Stuhec, who won the opening three downhills of the season, retained a 77-point lead ahead of Gut in the downhill standings.
Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany finished fourth, and Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria was fifth.
Breezy Johnson was the top American in a career-best 10th, and teammate Stacey Cook finished 11th.
Julia Mancuso did not enter the race, preferring to delay her return from hip surgery to Sunday’s super-G.