Lindsey Vonn looked golden at the 2018 Olympic track, up until Sofia Goggia crossed the finish line.
The Italian Goggia edged Vonn by .07 of a second in a World Cup downhill in Jeongseon, South Korea, site of the PyeongChang Olympic speed races in 11 months.
“I think it’s better that I save my best skiing for the Olympics,” an upbeat Vonn said afterward. “I was second as well in Vancouver at the test event [in 2008] before the  Olympics. If that shows any indication of what’s to come next year, hopefully that’s what it means.”
Vonn put up a strong run as the first racer to go at the first women’s World Cup race in South Korea. Goggia, the fifth racer, trailed Vonn at every split until the finish.
Goggia was .22 behind with about 11 seconds left but made up nearly three tenths in the final portion.
The Italian recorded her first World Cup win after 10 previous podium finishes this season, including a world championships giant slalom bronze.
Vonn was hoping for her second win in 10 races since returning in January from crash-caused knee and arm fractures last year, and her 78th World Cup win overall.
She arrived in South Korea on Tuesday after a race crash last Saturday in Switzerland that left her with neck whiplash, plus food poisoning last week.
Nevertheless, Vonn was fastest in both downhill training runs Thursday and Friday, saying afterward her confidence level on the track was similar to how she feels at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.
Vonn has won 18 times in 41 World Cup starts at Lake Louise, a record number for any racer (male or female) at one place in history.
She remains nine wins shy of the World Cup record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.
Vonn will race again Sunday in a World Cup super-G in Jeongseon, live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.
South Korea is 14 hours ahead of New York time.
World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin is skipping the South Korean speed races to prepare for next week’s giant slalom and slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif.
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