Ladies back to speed in St Anton
The ladies Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to St Anton am Arlberg, the so-called cradle of skiing, for a pair of speed events this weekend. The last time the tour visited the traditional Austrian venue was at the end of December 2007 when the ladies competed in a downhill and super combined events there. And five years ago, surprise, the winner was Lindsey Vonn who swept the site en route to the first World Cup overall and downhill titles of her career.
After a long string of tech races from Courchevel to Are, Semmering, Munich and Zagreb, the ladies are back to speed at the 2001 World Champs venue. So far only three downhill races have been carried out, and only 2 super-Gs, since the third scheduled super-G event in Val d’Isère (FRA) had to be cancelled due to heavy snow. This event will not be rescheduled before the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2013 in Schladming from 4th-17th February 2013.
The current downhill standings are led by Vonn who won both the season opening downhills at Lake Louise and features 200 points. She is followed by teammate Stacey Cook in 2nd with 186 points, ahead of Lara Gut (SUI), winner of the season’s 3rd downhill, with 124 points. The season dominator Tina Maze (SLO), who leads the overall World Cup ranking with whopping 1159 points, has only collected 59 points in DH so far and sits in 17th position.
Vonn also leads the super-G rankings with 200 points, ahead of another teammate Julia Mancuso who has 140 points and Maze who is ranked 3rd with 130 points.
After departing for the USA after a disappointing performance in the Courchevel GS on 16th December, Vonn is reported to have returned to on snow training last week Thursday in Europe. “It feels great to be back and I can’t wait to start racing again,” she stated. Following continued fatigue from a late fall stomach illness Vonn took a two-week break from the tour to ensure she could again compete at the highest level and is expected to return to racing at the downhill and super-G events this week.