Stephanie Venier

Slovenia’s Stuhec wins back-to-back world championship downhills

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As with many of the speed races at this year’s world championships, the women’s downhill was run on a shortened course due to Mother Nature whipping up the winds in Are.

The U.S.’ Lindsey Vonn was the sentimental favorite of the day, skiing in the last race of her career.

Vonn did hold the lead early in the event, but Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was the eventual winner, crossing the finish line .49 hundredths of a second faster than Vonn. For two consecutive world championships, Stuhec has won downhill gold. Her first win was in 2017.

It appeared that Vonn might leave with the silver medal until Switzerland’s Corinne Suter, skiing 19th on the day, fearlessly held her tuck in the fastest sections on course to cross the finish line .26 hundredths of a second faster than Vonn. Vonn’s time stood as the third best on the day. A happy ending for the legendary U.S. skier who only recently decided to call it quits, saying her body simply could not go on.

Full results are here.

Stuhec has three World Cup downhill podium finishes this season, but just one of those was for the win.

A trio of Austrians have owned the World Cup downhill this season. Ramona Siebenhofer and Nicole Schmidhofer have two World Cup downhill wins apiece, with Stephanie Venier holding one. All finished off the world championship podium in Are.

The men’s Super combined is next up on the world championship docket tomorrow morning, beginning with the downhill at 5:00 a.m. ET followed by the slalom at 8:30 a.m. Watch the downhill live on TV or streaming on Olympic Channel or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass. The slalom can be seen live on TV and streaming on NBCSN as well as NBC Sports Gold.

The U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to race in Are on Thursday in the giant slalom and again on Saturday in the slalom. Check out the full schedule for the remaining events at the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships below.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP — Are, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Monday 5:00 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Downhill Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Downhill* NBCSN
8:30 a.m. Men’s Super Combined – Slalom NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Tuesday 9:55 a.m. Team Event NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Thursday 8:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
10:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
11:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Friday 8:00 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN
11:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 5:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
8:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Women’s Slalom* NBC
Sunday 5:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1)* NBCSN
8:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay

Austria’s Stephanie Venier tames rough downhill for first World Cup win

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Racing was halted almost before it started in Germany today in the women’s World Cup downhill. When the second and third skiers out of the gate flew through the air off a jump further than the FIS race director felt was safe, crews were on the course making adjustments, shaving down the Seilbahn Stadl, or Gondola Barn, jump.

Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel was next up, skiing fourth. Mowinckel’s guinea pig run was a success, as teams began relaying the new course recon up to the start gate.

Watching her fellow skiers find the best line to the finish, Austria’s Stephanie Venier, skiing 11th, used the precious intel to her advantage, picking up her first World Cup win. Venier was able to relegate reigning Olympic downhill champion, Italy’s Sofia Goggia, to second place by .25 hundredths of a second. Venier was also on the downhill podium last weekend, taking third in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Goggia nabbed her second podium finish of the weekend, in what was her first World Cup event since fracturing her ankle earlier this season. Germany’s Kira Weidle, skiing on the home snow, finished third.

Full results are here.

Austria’s Cornelia Huetter, seventh in World Cup downhill standings, avoided serious injury and skied away from a nasty red-net crash when her skis knocked together to put her on her back in a rattly section on course.

The downhill in GaPa was the final speed event for the women before athletes head to Are, Sweden from February 4-17 for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Prior to Worlds, the women’s World Cup will race giant slalom and slalom in Maribor, Slovenia next weekend. On Friday, the GS gets underway at 4:00 a.m. ET and slalom begins on Saturday, also at 4:00 a.m. ET. Livestream both events on OlympicChannel.com or NBC Sports Gold.

Also on Sunday morning, the men were setting the Kitzbuehel Super-G course on fire with Germany’s Josef Ferstl picking up his first World Cup win of the season. France’s Johan Clarey and Italy’s Dominik Paris finished the day in second and third, respectively.

Full results are here.  

Next weekend the men’s tour takes over Garmisch-Partenkirchen, racing the downhill and giant slalom, after an early-week stop in Austria on Tuesday for a slalom competition. Catch the downhill from GaPa live Saturday morning on Olympic Channel or stream it on NBC Sports Gold starting at 5:30 a.m. ET. The second run of the men’s giant slalom on Sunday can be seen live on Olympic Channel at 7:30 a.m. ET, with streaming coverage beginning at 4:30 a.m. ET on OlympicChannel.com and NBC Sports Gold.

‘Snow Queen’ Lindsey Vonn returns to World Cup in Italy

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The wait was finally over for the U.S.’ Lindsey Vonn, who returned to World Cup competition today in Italy after being out of commission with a knee injury since November. Vonn crashed in training runs ahead of the third World Cup stop this season in Lake Louise, but lucky for the four-time Olympian, the injury did not require surgery.

Friday’s downhill race in Cortina d’Ampezzo replaced the cancelled St. Anton event from one week ago, when a snowstorm put Vonn’s World Cup season debut on hold. Vonn had her last taste of competition back in March 2018. Needless to say, the “Snow Queen” was amped to be back.

Wearing lucky bib #13, and now strapped with matching knee braces, Vonn charged out of the start gate. Despite being clocked at a screaming 75 mph as she attacked the gates, Vonn crossed the finish in seventh place, .79 hundredths of a second behind then-current leader, Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, who jumped out to take the early lead in the one-run race.

After seeing the scoreboard at the bottom of the hill, Vonn gave a shrug as she caught her breath, then waved to the crowd.

Vonn ultimately slipped into a tie for 15th, with a time that was 1.15 seconds off the lead.

The seventeenth skier out of the gate, Austria’s 27-year-old Ramona Siebenhofer laid down the winning run of the day, stealing the lead away from Stuhec by .40 hundredths of a second. Finishing in third was Austria’s Stephanie Venier. Full results are here.

Vonn is chasing the all-time World Cup wins record — for a man or woman — held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn currently has 82 to Stenmark’s 86, but has said she intends to retire at the end of this season. Vonn told the Associated Press last week she’ll be fine if she doesn’t get the record.

“The record won’t define me, whether I get it or not,” Vonn said according to the Associated Press. “I don’t need 87 wins to be able to continue the work of my foundation, to help kids, inspire people to be healthy and active and be positive and strive to reach their dreams and goals. I don’t need that record to accomplish those things. Once I retire, 87 won’t really matter anymore.

Vonn has appeared on a World Cup downhill podium in Cortina d’Ampezzo nine times in her career — five times as the winner. The last time Vonn won a downhill at the venue was in 2016. Last season Vonn won four downhill races and one Super-G. Two of those victories came in Germany at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, next week’s World Cup stop.

Vonn will be back tomorrow racing in the second downhill of the weekend. Watch the race live on Olympic Channel or stream it on NBC Sports Gold.

The men’s World Cup resumed in Wengen, Switzerland on Friday with the Alpine combined. After the opening slalom run, U.S. skier Ted Ligety was sitting in fourth position, 1.20 seconds behind the leader at the break, Austria’s Marco Schwarz. Ligety ended up crossing the line in 11th after finishing his downhill run, eventually getting bumped back to 14th.  

Finishing in 15th behind Ligety was the U.S.’ Bryce Bennett.

Schwarz held on to take the top podium spot, getting his first career World Cup Alpine combined victory. A pair of Frenchmen joined Schwarz on the podium, Victor Muffat-Jeandet and Alexis Pinturault. Full results are here.

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