Are Super Combined, Feb. 25
Vonn could only shake her head in frustration and skate her way out of the finish
area at the bottom of the super combined slalom course as the day’s top three finishers posed for photographers. As the morning’s super G leg leader, Vonn saw her
0.16-second lead on Riesch slip away as her slalom woes continued. She finished
It was a triple scoop of good news for Riesch, who took the win and the super com-
bined lead (by five points) and boosted her lead in the overall rankings to 216 points
over her American friend.
Eight of the day’s top- 10 finishers were fresh Worlds medalists. Riesch, with two
shiny new bronze medals of her own (downhill and super G), hopped on the top step
of her fifth World Cup podium of the season thanks to her first super combined win
in two years.
“I’m very happy with myself today because it was a long time since I last won a super combined,” Riesch told Reuters. “But also, my good super G run showed me I
was heading in the right direction, and hopefully set the tone for the weekend.”
In the second run, Slovenia’s Tina Maze recaptured the same magic that had earned
her a giant slalom world championship title eight days earlier. Standing eighth after
the morning super G leg, Maze flew down to the day’s fastest slalom time and the
second-place finish. It was her first World Cup combined podium.
Downhill and super G world champion Elisabeth Goergl of Austria finished third to
land herself in the super combined title hunt with her second podium in as many
races. Goergl and Vonn locked horns in second with 140 points apiece and right
behind Riesch with 145.
For Vonn, just being back on skis was a relief. In Are, she came out of a two-week
media blackout that was brought on by the headache (both literal and figurative) she
dealt with while trying to defend world titles amidst her lingering concussion symptoms. Though it wasn’t the result Vonn was after, at least she finished. Vonn hadn’t
completed a World Cup slalom run of any kind since winning the season’s only previous super combined in Val d’Isere in mid-December. But it was also the first time
Vonn missed the podium in a World Cup super combined that she finished since
March of 2008, a string that includes six top-three results and three wins.
“My super G was really encouraging, but I’m pretty frustrated with my slalom,” said
Vonn. “It’s going to be a battle for the overall title until the last race of season. I’ve
still got a lot of fighting to do.”
Local favorite Anja Paerson was obviously fighting hard for a home podium but
wasn’t able to improve on her fourth-place standing after the super G, missing the
SkiRacing.com MARCH 17, 2011 | 23 Lindsey Vonn led the downhill leg of the Are super combined only to be let down by the short skis again.
Maria Riesch kept the speed
all day to earn her first super
combined victory in two years.