Lindsey Vonn lands back-to-back downhill victories at
Lake Louise, Alberta BY SHAUNA FARNELL
Alice McKennis skied to 18th place in her second
World Cup race, and to 10th the following day.
Cup race, finished 18th wearing bib No. 49. Stacey
Cook was 23rd and Chelsea Marshall 26th.
“I’m really proud of all the girls,” said the U.S.
women’s head coach, Jim Tracy. “They all went out
there today and really stuck their noses in it and did
a great job.”
The Canadians also had a great collective result on
home turf, with Britt Janyk taking fourth, Kelly Vanderbeek 13th and Larisa Yurkiw 24th.
Brydon referred to the excitement of her second
place on the home course — her first Cup podium
since her victory in the St. Moritz super G in February 2008 — as something on par to what it would be
like to win at the upcoming Vancouver Games.
“This is a really good opportunity for us,” Brydon
said. “You get the nerves and the expectations and
the pressure early on in the season. Then we get to
step away from this and get refreshed before the Games. I really struggled
with doing well here. I put a lot of pressure and expectations on my own
shoulders. It’s just about as big as an Olympics for me.”
Lindsey Vonn speeds into her second win
in two days on the Lake Louise DH course.
If the U.S. women’s alpine team was feeling down following the Aspen
Winternational (see pages 24 and 25), nothing brought spirits up like a
weekend of soaring success in Lake Louise.
Lindsey Vonn landed her sixth and then seventh victory at the venue in back-to-back downhill races on December 4 and 5, then came three hundredths of
a second away from making history. Again. Throughout the weekend, other
U.S. racers overcame personal barriers and etched their own marks in the
Downhill No. 1, December 4
Vonn’s victory in the first downhill race was pulled off by more than half of
a second, but it didn’t come without blood.
Vonn won on a course shortened due to high winds packing new snow onto
the original start, beating Canada’s Emily Brydon (who landed her first World
Cup podium on home turf) by 0.52 seconds and her best friend Maria Riesch (who also finished third in last year’s downhill at Lake Louise) by 0.80
But Vonn crossed the finish line spitting up blood.
“There was a slick spot and my ski kind of slid and I caught,” she said. “My
knee hit my chin and I bit through my tongue. It almost knocked me out but
I somehow regrouped and kept going.”
It was a banner day for the U.S. women’s speed team. Julia Mancuso put
down a 10th place finish and Alice McKennis, in only her second ever World
Downhill No. 2, December 5
The first race in Lake Louise was a tough act to follow, but Vonn and her
team found a way to make it look like a dress rehearsal.
For the first time in two years (after a downhill and a super-combined in St.
Anton in 2007) Vonn won her second straight race, claiming the downhill as
if victory is simply a way of life.
was the 24th
of her World
her seventh at
and the 200th
It was the
on the podium
Maria Riesch was just behind Vonn in both DH races .
GEPA ( 5)