Val d'Isère 2nd downhill training: Gisin, Vonn, Maze
Val d'Isère, France – Snow was expected today in the Tarentaise valley but no one could tell when it would come. As the morning went on, clouds started coming in and the first snowflakes appeared at in the top section around bib number 20. Switzerland's Dominique Gisin started with bib 7 to set the pace of the second downhill training in a time of 1:49.07. She was followed by USA's Lindsey Vonn in second position, just 0.04 seconds adrift, while Slovenia's Tina Maze took 3rd position, 0.16 seconds behind and Austria's Anna Fenninger ended in 4th, 0.46 seconds behind. Winner of yesterday's first training, Maria Höfl-Riesch finished 7th, 0.66 seconds off the pace.
Dominique has won three World Cup races with the last one in Crans-Montana in March 2010. She has finished in the top 15 of all last five races she entered recently and seems to be close to her best level again.
“I had a good feeling on the piste today”, said the 28-year-old. “I'm happy that I managed to build some speed in the flat bits of the top section today. I made mistakes there yesterday. It gives me confidence going into the race on Saturday.”
“I've been comfortable on my skis in the past weeks. In Lake Louise, the feeling was already good even if I made some little mistakes. I have to keep improving and hopefully it will pay off soon.”
12th in yesterday's training, Lindsey Vonn is getting back on track. She already won three World Cup downhill races at Val d'Isère. She can win her 30th World Cup downhill race on Saturday and then become the fourth woman to win 30 World Cup races in a specific discipline, joining Moser-Pröll (36 in downhill), Marlies Schild (AUT, 34 in slalom) and Vreni Schneider (SUI, 34 in slalom).
World Cup leader Lara Gut started with bib number 22 and had to deal with the new snowflakes on the course to finish 19th, 2.10 seconds off her team-mate pace. “It gets harder when it snows and that's why the piste was a bit slower”, she said. “It's better when it happens on a training day. I hope the conditions will be regular for everyone.I know the piste quite well, but my two training runs haven't been ideal. I need to find the right balance between the line and the soft way to ski to be fast on this specific slope.”
It is currently snowing in Val d'Isère and the decision to run the 3rd and final training run will be made either tonight already or tomorrow morning. Good news is that nice weather is forecast for the weekend anyway.
Here are the full results of the day.