Lara Gut starts the Raptor legend!
Beaver Creek, USA – After being so dominant in the training runs, Switzerland's Lara Gut confirmed how strong she is at the moment. She had a blast on the very technically demanding Raptor. She dealt with the 2.530 meters and the 710 meters vertical drop course in an incredible way to clock the best time of the day in 1:41.26, edging out Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather at the top of the timesheets, who finished 0.47 seconds off the pace. Rounding out the podium today, Italy's Elena Fanchini was 0.98 seconds slower. The USA team that was dominant last winter with nine ladies' World Cup downhill podiums didn't very well, placing Stacey Cook, her best athlete, in 19th position.
Even in the absence of local hero Lindsey Vonn, who was going to make her comeback on the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and had to withdraw from the races here in Colorado after injuring her right knee again last week, the ladies put a great show together and Lara Gut picked up her second career downhill win after Val d'Isère last year.
“Ski racing isn't like a tennis match where two players play each other. Lindsey is for sure a very strong skier, but competition is still very hard even if she's not here”, she said.
“Today the snow was a bit different, maybe like on the second day of training. I'm in good shape right now and really enjoyed fighting on this course. I tried to be as clean as possible on my skis and even if I didn't quite managed to do so today, I'm really happy it worked out well in the end. Tina might have made a couple of mistakes as well”, she concluded laughing.
Among the favourites today after three great performances in training, Tina Weirather landed her 5th career World Cup podium.
“It is a very challenging course and taking too much risk can put yourself in a very critical situation”, said the 24-year-old. “Finding the right balance between attacking and keeping the line is the key here.”
“With all the injuries I had in the past, it is clearly important for me to have such a good start into the season. It gives me confidence and hopefully I'll be able to keep this momentum.“
Elena Fanchini had to wait 8 year to finally climb onto the podium for the second time after wining a downhill at Lake Louise in 2005.
“It's a very special day for me, I'm really happy about this 3rd place on this very difficult course”, conceded the Italian lady. After the training runs, I wasn't really expecting this. It's simply a great surprise that will give me some confidence.”
“I more known as a glider and usually prefer to ski on faster and straighter courses. Today is then for sure exceptional.”
The show goes on tomorrow with a super g race scheduled for 10:45 GMT-7
Here are the full results of the day.