Lindsey Vonn far ahead in Lake Louise

02 December 2011 21:47

LAKE LOUISE, Canada- Lindsey Vonn writes history in Lake Louise. Winning by the biggest margin in her career, it seemed as if she was skiing a different race than everyone else! On December 3rd, 2004 Bode Miller won in Beaver Creek and Lindsey Vonn (than Kildow) won in Lake Louise. Seven years later, history repeats itself!

Vonn crossed the finish line in 1minute, 53.19 seconds, 1.95 seconds faster than second ranked Tina Weirather, who was the only skier able to ski within two seconds of Vonn. Third ranked Dominique Gisin was already 2.06 seconds behind.

She might be going through a tough time in her private life, but Vonn managed to stay very focused and is keeping her spirit up.

“ It’s amazing to have the support of my teammates and everyone on the World Cup. My sister came all the way from North Carolina and is definitely helping me. Everything came together for me today, and I hope I can keep it going this weekend, but I just happy to be back racing Downhill,” a smiling Vonn said with her sister standing by her side.

She might have encountered some wind on the way down but it sure did not affect her overall performance.

“I definitely noticed that the wind was pretty strong, I had a pretty strong head wind coming onto the Followay turn, but I just kept fighting the whole way down. I knew that Heinz, my technician had done some magic with my skis, so I was hoping they would help me on the flats and it was a good run. Despite the wind and everything, it was great,” Vonn commented her run.

With one more Downhill on Saturday and a SG on Sunday, Vonn sure hopes to keep today’s flow going.

“I’m not really sure I’ll be able to do this again but I am going to try and do the same thing, go out there ski solid and have fun. I always feel pressure to win; I think it’s the most important thing for me. I know what I expect from myself and I try to do the best every day. But I didn’t really expect this today; I didn’t expect it at all. The most I have ever won was by 1.2 seconds in 2006, I think, and it was here in Lake Louise. I don’t know what to say, it’s unexpected but I am extremely happy.”

After Vonn’s impressive performance, it seemed as if the podium was already decided, but Weirather hammered down the course with bib number 40 to achieve a surprising second place, her first World Cup podium.

“It’s really amazing, I didn’t expect I could go for a podium. I had some luck with the weather and it seems that I had a really good run and am really happy. I had the last four years different kinds of injuries, last year I watched this race on TV and wasn’t even able to ski. And this year I am here, on the podium and it’s just great,” Weirather said.

Last year Gisin left Lake Louise with a third place in the second Downhill, and this year she starts the season with the same result.

“It’s the weirdest third place ever, with two seconds off it’s crazy. But congratulations to Lindsey, she is just impressive. I even think she did the Followay in a tuck, I just wonder how did she do it? But we will analyze it and try to be faster tomorrow. Of course it was windy all the way down so it was hard to tell if you were fast or not, but that’s normal here,” she said moments after being pushed into third place by Weirather.

She might be mainly a Giant Slalom specialist, but already in the Downhill trainings, Viktoria Rebensburg showed she shouldn’t be overlooked in the speed disciplines. She kept saying that was only training and races are a different thing, but today she must have proven herself wrong.

“SG is my favorite one of the speed disciplines, but now I’m so, so happy it turned out this good. I knew that if I could focus on my skiing, because the training was not that bad, it was good for me in Downhill. I was focusing on skiing pretty good and clean, and it worked out,” she said after missing the podium by only .04 seconds.

The oldest lady in today’s race is 1980 born Italian, Lucia Recchia. Coming down the slope with bib number 5, she was able to hang on to the podium for a rather long time. She was last on the podium in 2005, and has since gone through a major number of health issues. But she never stopped believing in herself and all the effort to come back was sure made worth by her 6th place today.

“I’m so happy, if you would have told me before I would have told you that you are crazy. I’ve had so many problems the last years and am so happy I didn’t stop believing in myself. And also the people around me, I have to thank them. I just wanted to have fun and ski fast, and now I really know I can be with all the top girls again, and that is some big motivation for me. I don’t feel so old yet. I always say that I will take off the years I had my problems, so now I feel as if I was in my mid 20ties and have some more years to go,” Recchia said of her 6th place.

Impressive runs by ’89 born Austrian Mariella Voglreite in fifth place and Slovenian Ilka Stuhec, born ‘90 in sixth (ex aequo with Recchia).  

One couldn’t have wished for a better day for the first ladies Downhill of the season to take place. This morning’s inspection run proved course conditions had improved drastically from the first trainings. The line was completely cleared of all the soft snow, the skiing base was somewhere between compact and icy. And the sun decided to finally show its face and create great visibility along the whole racecourse. Wouldn’t it have been for some strong wind which kept coming in and out, and which can probably be blamed for some of the unexpected results; we can sure say it was just a perfect day in Lake Louise.

A video of what the top ladies had to say can be found here.

For full results follow this link.

by Ana Jelusic