America's Lindsey Vonn posts fastest time in 1st DH training
Speed queen Lindsey Vonn clocked the fastest time in the first training for the downhill in the Italian ski resort of Tarvisio. The American marked a time of 1:30.97, edging off local hero Johanna Schnarf by 0.34 seconds to second and American Stacey Cook by 0.78 seconds to third.
The Austrians were able to keep up with the top skiers. Regina Mader placed fourth, 0.89 seconds out, while world champion Lizz Görgl follow directly behind her in fifth place, 0.91 seconds off the winning pace.
World Cup leader Maria Riesch still held back in the first training run. The double Olympic champion posted the 15th fastest time on Wednesday, 1.53 seconds behind Vonn on course that had been shortened due to bad weather including fog and wind.
The 26-year-old Johanna Schnarf from Bressanone, Italy, who marked the second fastest time on Wednesday, remained cautious prior to Saturday's race: "I am very pleased with how I skied but it is still a test race,” says Schnarf, who was clocked with the fastest run time in the upper part of the course. I'll watch the video to see if I made any mistakes and correct what was wrong." About the race track "Di Prampero", the skier of the squadra azzurra said, "The snow is easy and tomorrow we will leave from further up and we'll see how that goes. But it is a fun course with lots of jumps."
After recording the second-best World Cup result of her career on Saturday in Are, finishing fifth, Stacey Cook seems to have kept that freeskiing mentality that she had going ever since she went powder skiing back home in Mammoth, USA, putting down the third best time on Wednesday.
Daniela Merighetti, who is the best Italian in the speed disciplines this season, said: "The weather was not very forgiving, but we hope that it will improve in the next few days. The course and snow have held up very well and, thanks to the artificial bumps, the piste has been made more exciting and difficult. In the super G standings, I could still make the podium. I'll try hard even if though I am aware that Julia Mancuso, currently third, would have to really mess up while I would have to get the best possible result. In any case, I have reached my goal, namely to make the top seven in the discipline ranking."
Results: Top 10 of 1st DH training
1. Lindsey Vonn (USA) 1:30,97 minutes
2. Johanna Schnarf (ITA) + 0,34 seconds
3. Stacey Cook (USA) +0,78
4. Regina Mader (AUT) +0,89
5. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) +0,91
6. Marie Marchand-Arvier (FRA) +1,20
7. Carolina Ruiz Castillo (ESP) +1,21
8. Aurelie Revillet (FRA) +1,25
9. Tina Maze (SLO) +1,32
10. Dominique Gisin (SUI) +1,35