Lindsey simply loves Lake Louise
LAKE LOUISE, Canada- Lindsey Vonn was once again the fastest lady in Tuesday’s first Downhill training run, even though she did miss a gate on the Followay section of the course. Still, her fast time doesn’t come as a surprise; with 14 top-three finishes, including eight wins, she has more than once proved to be the Queen of Lake Louise.
Vonn dominated the course, crossing the finish line in 1minute, 54.79 seconds, 1.67 seconds ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg. The German GS specialist might seem like a surprising name to be seen among the top three, but on a rather easy and soft Downhill course, her amazing ability to be smooth and let the skis run allow her to be really fast.
The third fastest lady in today’s training was Elisabeth Goergl. She crossed the finish line 1.71 seconds behind Vonn. Goergl seems to be in great shape, after kicking off the season with a third place in the Soelden, she climbed one step higher on the podium, reaching 2nd place in Aspen last week.
As always, Vonn looked very comfortable coming down the course.
“I just love Lake Louise, I know the slope so well that I almost don’t even need to inspect it. I just know where to go,” Vonn said.
Due to the heavy snowfalls of the previous weeks, the first training was held in some extremely soft conditions. Luckily, with three scheduled training runs before the first Downhill race on Friday, the surface should get better by the day.
“It’s very slow and soft, but it was good. There is always a little bit of stress on top (because it’s the first speed race) but now it’s good,” said Marie Marchand-Arvier of her eight-place performance.
Swiss speed champion, Dominique Gisin, 14th in today’s training, also thought it is going to take a little bit of adjusting, coming from the hard and grippy Colorado snow to some completely different conditions here in Canada.
“The course is generally really slow and soft, but there are some good sections. The Followay is good; you get some good grip there. But for example after coming over the bump at the Coaches Corner, you just sink in the soft snow. It’s a fight getting to the next gate,” she said. “Lindsey seems so comfortable, she is going to be tough to beat,” she added.
It’s the first “real” speed check for the ladies today. Most of them didn’t have many chances to ski a full-length Downhill course since the races last season.
“It’s the first race and I can totally feel it in my legs. So far, we were able to train on courses that were 55 seconds long, at the most. This, (1minute, 57.81 seconds was her time), is quite a change,” Daniela Merighetti said.
With two trainings left before the actual race, this first one was just a way for everyone to start getting comfortable on the long skis again. By today’s results it is really hard to predict who might shine in the races this weekend. Vonn is always a rather safe guess, she loves the Lake Louise slope and conditions, after winning last year’s SG but coming second in both Downhills, she will be charging hard for sure.
Next training run is scheduled for Wednesday morning and results might already look much different from the ones we saw today.
For the complete results, check the link.
by Ana Jelusic