Marchand-Arvier first in downhill training at Crans Montana
Ladies Alpine Ski World Cup racing resumed today in Crans Montana, Switzerland, with the first downhill training, only eleven days after the last ladies speed event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was staged.
Crans-Montana offers the first chance for an Olympic revenge. The training run was shortened a bit due to windy conditions.
France's Marie Marchand-Arvier posted the fastest time in the first downhill training on the Piste Nationale, finishing in 1 minute, 36.53 seconds. Italy's Lucia Recchia was 0.17 back and her teammate Daniela Merighetti 0.53 behind Marchand-Arvier's run time.
Alice McKennis (USA) finished just off the podium in fourth 0.68 back, while Johanna Schnarf (ITA) took fifth 0.80 behind the fastest time of the day. Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn (USA) ended up in 19th place, just behind friend and rival Maria Riesch of Germany.
Racers with early bibs almost all placed in the top 10, while later numbers seemed to have finished further back.
There is another training run scheduled for Thursday at 10:00 am CET before the races will begin Friday with the super combined event, followed by the downhill Saturday and the super G Sunday.
Coming into the last super combined race of the season, Vonn leads the discipline standings, 160-150 over Sweden's Anja Paerson. Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria trails Vonn by 30 points.
Crans-Montana gave its World Cup comeback two years ago with 16'000 spectators - a surprisingly high number for ladies' events - following the races held over two consecutive days. Anja Paerson won the super combined race on the first day, while Lindsey Vonn claimed victory in the downhill the next day.