Hütter ran fastest in La Thuile final training
La Thuile, Italy – Austria's Cornelia Hütter was the fastest down the demanding 2'310 metre “Franco Berthod” downhill course in the final training session on Thursday ahead of the first ever World Cup races to be held in the Italian resort.
Hütter clocked 1:38.69 to lead the American McKennis by a mere 0.03 second. Rounding out the top three was Austria's Elisabeth Goergl, 0.08 out.
“You can't afford to be intimidated and you really have to attack,” said Hütter about the technical course. “It is a different type of course from what we usually have. I had a good training run yesterday but I made two mistakes. Today, the middle section was still not perfect. But I had a better feeling. I will take it into the race tomorrow and hopefully I can put a faultless run together.”
Lindsey Vonn who led Wednesday's opening training run, took the opportunity to make adjustments on her line and her skis to have a precise game plan for race day. She finished 13th, 1.52 seconds off the leading pace.
“I just tried some different things with my line today and tried different skis,” Vonn told reporters. “I thought some parts worked but others didn't, so I have to change a few things for tomorrow. But I really like the course. I am not concerned about my time and ready for tomorrow.”
The 31-year-old has won five of the six downhill races so far this season and can secure the title in the discipline this week. She currently leads Canada's Larisa Yurkiw in the downhill standings by 172 points with only three races remaining. She needs to be 200 points clear at the top of the table after Friday's race, or 100 after Saturday's race to win her eighth downhill crystal globe, breaking Moser-Pröll's record for most in this discipline.
Lara Gut, who trails Vonn by 87 points in the overall standings, was 11th, 1.26 seconds out.
“It's not the first time that we ski on a new track,” Gut said. “It is a really nice and technical course. It is actually easier for me to find the right line when it is technical.”
The first downhill race, that was moved from Crans-Montana (SUI) is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:00. The intense week continues with the initially planned downhill on Saturday and a super-G on Sunday.
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