Goergl wins first World Cup downhill in Bad Kleinkirchheim
World Downhill Champion Lizzi Goergl secured her first Downhill win on the World Cup with a gutsy and hard fought run in Bad Kleinkirchheim. The race, run down the course named in honour of Austrian legend Franz Klammer, was technically difficult and caught out a number of racers yet Goergl let her HEAD skis run and held on to win ahead of Julia Mancuso and Fabienne Suter with Lindsey Vonn in fourth.
Despite Maria Hoefl-Riesch sitting out the weekend of races due to recovering from a bout of flu, much was expected for the HEAD World Cup Rebels: Very few of the racers had raced in Bad Kleinkirchheim with the last time the races there being in 2006. With Anna Fenninger having won the one training run that the weather permitted, this was expected to be a very open race.
When Lindsey Vonn struggled on the second turn of the steep section below the start, the unbeaten run looked in severe danger of being broken. Vonn is a fighter and explained after her run “I didn’t really have a good feeling from the very beginning,” Vonn said. “My balance isn’t there, my energy isn’t there. I tried my best. I fought the whole way down. Every bump seemed to mess me up. I wasn’t clean. I wasn’t building pressure at the top of the turn like I normally do. That’s not the way I normally ski. But I’m happy with my result, considering everything.” This was still a great result in the circumstances.
The day though belonged to Lizzi Goergl; she collapsed in the finish through sheer exultation in winning her first World Cup Downhill race. Goergl likes the tough courses and this was certainly one of those. “I felt very comfortable on this course right after the first inspection,” the 30-year-old said. “My training run was not the best, but I got a good feeling for the slope and the turns and what I had to do. I’m pretty happy I brought it right to the point. With a victory like this, there are a lot of people standing behind the athlete. Winning is not easy, but today everything was right for me. I like this kind of course and the snow. It was tough skiing. I enjoyed it.”
With Anna Fenninger having won the only training run, Anja Paerson was looking great at the top of the course before a slight problem and missing a gate causing her to pull up. Fenninger managed to hold to tenth place despite a run that saw her admitting to going too direct at some of the gates.
1. Lizzi Goergl (AUT) HEAD
2. Julia Mancuso (USA)
3. Fabienne Suter (SUI)
4. Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
10=. Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD