The New Year started well for Lindsey Vonn. The American enjoyed her 3rd victory in a row in downhill as she captured the first of two downhill races at Haus im Ennstal, Austria, where she beat Sweden’s Anja Paerson and Germany’s Maria Riesch, two other HEAD stars. Vonn won her 15th downhill race since 2004 and her 26th in total. Interestingly enough, Lindsey was racing on a pair of skis used in the past by former two-time World Champion Bode Miller.
Lindsey Vonn from Vail, Colorado, a double winner at Lake Louise last month, achieved her very first hat-trick in downhill in the Austrian resort where the competition cancelled three weeks ago at Val d’Isère took place under a cloudy sky.
Last season Vonn remained out of reach in five consecutive Super-G races including at the Val d’Isère world championships, but has not shown the same dominance in her preferred specialty so far. The defending Overall World Cup champion who skied with a cast at her left hand that she injured in a crash at Lienz a few days prior to new year’s eve, was as happy as relieved after the race.
“I needed such a strong result. I suffered a lot last Sunday at Zagreb during the slalom race and I was not sure that I would be able to ski at my best level in this downhill, yet at the end of the day things went very well for me,” said a beaming Vonn after the race. “I pushed as hard as I could at the start and I attacked a lot afterwards to be as compact as possible. The course was not too difficult yet you needed to be very precise in those high speed turns and in the long jumps,” she added.
“I was impatient skiing again in downhill after this series of technical events in recent weeks and I had a lot of fun today. It’s a good feeling to be back at the top despite this injury. I feel really comfortable and solid in downhill this season,” also said the American who regained the lead in the Overall World Cup standings.
First season podium for Anja Paerson
Anja Paerson was also delighted by her first podium finish this season after struggling in previous events so far. The former two-time Overall World Cup champion was very fast in Super-G at Lake Louise prior skiing out at the middle of her run with the best intermediate time. “I’m extremely happy with this result, I was very nervous at the start as the conditions were quite different today than in training,” she explained. “I fought hard and it’s great to be back at the top and to finish so close to Lindsey. This performance will strongly reinforce my confidence and I hope to continue skiing so fast in the coming days,” added the Swede who may retire at the end of the season.
Maria Riesch aiming for more
Maria Riesch was satisfied to reach another podium in downhill on the slope where she celebrated her very first win six years ago even though thinking she could have been faster today. “I made a few errors here and there so I’m a little disappointed to have missed the 2nd place by only a few hundredths of a second,” she told the press. “But a podium finish is always nice and I aim to improve my position in the coming days,” said the reigning slalom World Champion who has already reached eight podiums in downhill in her career including two wins.