Weirather leads first downhill training in Bad Kleinkirchheim
Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria - The ladies' World Cup tour last stopped in Bad Kleinkirchheim in 2012 and saw Elisabeth Görgl win the downhill race ahead of Julia Mancuso and Fabienne Suter. Three years later the three athletes were again at the start of the first downhill training run ahead of Saturday's race and ready to charge the challenging 2'875 meter long “Franz Klammer” course.
The one who handled the course best in the first training on Thursday was Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather, whose best results so far this season is a third place in Lake Louise donwhill race. She posted the fastest time (1:48.52) to stay ahead of Italian duo Johanna Schnarf (+0.19) and Elena Fanchini.
Most of the athletes didn't expect the hill and the course to be that challenging. “It's hard to believe my run was that good,” said 30-year-old Johanna Schnarf. “In some sections I couldn't keep my skis straight. It was very icy and bumpy.”
Among the favourites, Anna Fenninger was 9th, 1.43 seconds off the pace while overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia finished 10th, 1.52 seconds back. Still recovering from a flu, Lindsey Vonn didn’t take any risks and came in 39th position, 5.11 seconds slower
“The whole team was sick last week and I got sick as well in the end,” commented Vonn. “I have a sore throat and I can't clear in my ears, there's like a lot of pressure in my head. Today I just wanted to get a feeling for the line. I had no energy and obviously it wasn't good skiing, but at least I know what the course feels like now.”
A second and final training run is scheduled for Friday to enable the racers to work on their line.
Here are the full results.