Vonn leads four HEAD racers at Altenmarkt Downhill

January 8th, 2011

Lindsey Vonn did not let the small matter of nearly crashing slow her down as she stormed to her second win of the winter in the Downhill World Cup. With Vonn taking the top step of the podium, it was a HEAD speedoholic-fest as Anja Paerson took second ahead of Anna Fenninger and Maria Riesch placed fourth. This was truly a day to be part of the Speedoholic team!

While the soft snow and warm weather did not slow Vonn down, her run was not, by her own admission, the cleanest: “I don't know what's gotten into me this year. I seem to be making big mistakes in almost every downhill that I race in and still have a good result," Vonn said. "For me, it's just a matter of keeping my cool. It's just belief and the cool factor – just staying cool even though you make mistakes."
With racing being decided over the length of a course, Vonn knew that she could gain time lower down: “This course is really tricky, there are a hundred different lines you can take on almost every turn of the course,” Vonn said. “It’s a matter of how well you can take your speed from the top to the bottom. It’s not necessarily who makes the cleanest turn or who makes the tightest line, it’s a matter of carrying speed. Thankfully even though I had that mistake I was able to carry the speed.”

Having skipped the slalom in Zagreb and using new skis, Anja Paerson was pleased that her season has taken a turn for the better: “I’m pretty happy about today,” she said. “It would have been awesome to win it, but Lindsey was really strong. I was surprised I picked up the speed so fast and also in bad light. Everything in there I’ll take with me. When I came down in the lead, I knew I’d be on the podium. This is going to be a change for me this season, for sure coming into world champs. We have a few more races to get things perfect with the material. If you want to win against Lindsey and Maria, you have to be perfect. That I know. This is a step on the way.”

The HEAD show continued with a delighted Anna Fenninger taking third. Fenninger’s run was accompanied by her fan club ringing a cowbell all the way down. “I don’t believe it today,” said the 21-year-old Austrian. “It’s so great. At home, it’s the best thing to happen. It’s unbelievable, you come into the finish and people are so loud.”

For Maria Riesch fourth place was not a disappointment as she had struggled in the training runs she admitted afterwards. It’s hard to be on the podium every single time,” Riesch said. “I just missed it by seven hundredths. I’m really happy about my race today. I was having lots of problems in the training runs, Yesterday I was a little too tight at some gates. After my big mistake when I missed a gate, I was a little nervous about today. Maybe not every turn was perfect but all in all, I’m really happy about my race, also with the fourth place.”

1. Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
2. Anja Paerson (SWE) HEAD
3. Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
4. Maria Riesch (GER) HEAD
8. Lizz Goergl (AUT) HEAD