Vonn tops first Garmisch training run
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany – American Lindsey Vonn led the way on Thursday in the first training run ahead of Saturday's downhill, the sixth of the season.
The 31-year-old skied down the 2740-meter Kandahar course in 1:49.70 in challenging snow conditions, 0.27 seconds faster than Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg. Vonn's team-mate Breezy Johnson finished third, 0.34 seconds off the pace.
The training run was initially scheduled to start at 11:00 but was delayed by one hour in order to get the race track ready. The soft and “bally” snow made it difficult for all racers. Lara Gut, Romane Miradoli, Larisa Yurkiw and a few others all missed gates.
“It's really bally and in some turns there is no surface underneath,” Vonn said. “Hopefully tomorrow if it rains, they can maybe work some magic with the hill and I think it's good that we go got a training run in even though it was definitely on the limit of safety.”
“Such conditions for a race wouldn't be acceptable and would be dangerous but we said 'ok let's train today because it might rain tomorrow'. We thought it would be ok if we all ski safe.”
“I came late into the “Hölle” section but I carried enough speed. That wasn't an a fantastic run, I just skied solid. I didn't really make any mistakes and didn't really ski that great. It was nothing special. It was like a high speed inspection,” concluded the World Cup downhill leader.
Vonn has won only one downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, on 4 February 2012. She has also won three World Cup Super G races and one Slalom race on the Bavarian snow. She has only won more World Cup races in Lake Louis (18), Cortina d'Ampezzo (11) and Val d'Isère (6).
Fired-up by her two consecutive victories in giant slalom, Viktoria Rebensburg is eager to make the most of racing in front of a home crowd and claim her maiden win in downhill.
“The track was soft and can still be improved,” Rebensburg confessed. “The course crew has some work ahead of them. We have two days until the race and I’m sure it will get better. It’s a good feeling to be at the top today, even though my run wasn't that good. I could have done better. I will prepare and watch some videos, so hopefully I can attack on Saturday. My parents, my friends and some members of the Fan Club will come watch and support me. I’m really looking forward to the race at home. I hope that the conditions will be good on race day.”
A second and final training run is scheduled for Friday if mother nature allows it.
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