Vonn spectacular in 1st downhill of the season
Lake Louise, Canada – The magic between American Lindsey Vonn and the Canadian resort happened again as she continued her dominance in the first ladies' downhill of the season on Friday, winning her 16th World Cup race on this hill.
Vonn recovered from a bobble in the top section of the course and another one midway down to finish in 1:50.50, while Austrian duo Cornelia Hütter and Ramona Siebenhofer came in second and third, respectively 0.58 and 1.07 seconds out.
“That was not planned," Vonn commented on the mistake she made mid-course. "I should probably not do that tomorrow. I don’t know, I came in there with a really direct line – probably a little bit too direct, and I caught my edge funny. I did the splits. I thought I was going down, then I somehow managed to stay on my feet. When I realized I was still in the course, I just got back into my tuck and tried to make up as much time as I could on the bottom.”
It snowed overnight and the course workers had to push the 5 to 8 cm of fresh snow off the race line to be ready for start time.
“I think (course conditions) were a little bit better than I expected," Vonn explained. "It definitely snowed a bit last night and this is probably the warmest I’ve ever had a race here in Lake Louise. It was quite balmy. It was very nice. I enjoyed it. But I kind of thought there was going to be more snow in the track in some places. There definitely was still a couple of gates that you had to be careful of, but in general I think they did an amazing job with the track. It was definitely in great condition today, so better than I expected.”
The Austrian team showed great potential in the two training runs and confirmed they have a strong team even in the absence of their leader Anna Fenninger.
Conerlia Hütter landed her second World Cup podium of her career on the day, after her 3rd place in Val d'Isère in December 2013.
“The summer preparation went really well and like in the first two training runs, I tried to keep going forward and do my best today and that was a pretty good run," said Hütter. "The downhill here is a very speedy one and I like it"
Her team-mate Ramona Siebenhofer didn't expect such a good result. The 23-year-old crashed one year ago on this same slope and struggled to get her confidence back since then. She managed to get over it today to earn her first World Cup podium ever.
"It didn't feel like such an amazing run," Siebenhofer said. "Last year I fell in Fall Away so I was a bit conservative in that section today. I was like 'yes it's ok but not that great'. Then I crossed the finish line and I saw the number 3. That is so amazing. I cannot describe it. Today I would have been happy with a top-15, so it's a big surprise. I hope I can do this again tomorrow."
"I was impressed by the good conditions. There is just one turn that is a little bit bumpy. That was kind of like yesterday, it was pretty good. They worked well on the course", she concluded.
The athletes will get another chance to master the course as a second downhill is scheduled for Saturday followed by a super-G on Sunday.
Here are the complete results.