Vail's Vonn picks up 25th World Cup victory, third of season, with super-combi win in France
December 18, 2009 —
VAL d'ISERE, France - Friday's super combined marked win number three this season (and 25th for her career) for World Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) as she aced both the downhill and slalom portions for the Audi FIS World Cup win in France.
"I definitely had some fast skis today, but I also think I skied really well. I think I made most of my time in the turns today, which I was really happy about," Vonn said. "I still made one mistake in the middle, but in general I was pretty dynamic and generating a lot of speed from the turns. That's what ultimately I wanted to do - have a solid run, and it was a good one."
"She skied well. Her plan was to really lay the hammer down in the downhill portion and ski smart in the slalom and it turned out to work as planned," Women's Alpine Head Coach Jim Tracy added. "She skied smart and it paid off."
According to Vonn, her plan to execute in the downhill helped give her an advantage in the run of slalom.
"Slalom is not my best discipline and downhill right now is working really well for me, so my goal was just to have a solid downhill run and hopefully get an advantage, that way I wouldn't have to risk as much in the slalom," Vonn said. "I was pretty cautious on the top part of the slalom and on the bottom I let things go, and I am really happy with the result."
The slalom track was not the type of surface that the women are used to racing on, according to Tracy.
"The slalom hill, on the bottom, probably two thirds of it was on the downhill track and it wasn't injected," Tracy said. "It was just hard snow, and it's not like you can really lay it down hard on that snow when you're used to racing on injected slalom hills."
"You have to ski the same no matter what, always attack, and do the same game plan you would if it was any conditions," Vonn added.
But injection or not, Vonn was still able to capitalize on her lead for the victory.
"I didn't expect to win today. Super combined is always difficult to win. I'm really confident in downhill right now, but slalom is always difficult no matter where you're racing," Vonn said. "I tried to ski well today so that I had a time advantage for the slalom so I didn't have to risk everything, and I think it worked well."
Four other U.S. women nudged their way into the top 30 with Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH) finishing 19th, Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) 22nd and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 27th.
"They all skied really well. The downhill girls executed really well," Tracy said. "Things changed a little bit because it snowed last night and in some places the course was not as fast as it was yesterday, so we had to make a few line adjustments. For the most part everyone adapted to that and executed a good plan."
The women race again in France on Saturday in a downhill. Fans can watch the races live on UniversalSports.com with same-day coverage on Universal Sports TV.
Bode blasts out top-5 finish in super-G
VAL GARDENA, Italy (Dec. 18) - Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) neared the podium again Friday as he finished fifth in an Audi FIS World Cup super G race in Italy. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won.
"It was a start position race. Early start numbers were bad because the light was bad. Then the light gets better as the race goes on," Miller said. "Unfortunately I started pretty early, which was tough. I skied well, but I had a couple mistakes."
Miller, who has been working on upping his fitness level since the start of the season, said that the race was not exhausting to him.
"The fitness is better, it gets better all the time. It's still a little bit slow, but for it being 1:40 today, it was a pretty easy 1:40. It wasn't real tiring," Miller said.
According to Men's Alpine Head Coach Sasha Rearick, Miller's skiing was on point.
"He gave a good effort and attacked and skied aggressively," Rearick said.
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) followed Miller for the U.S., finishing 15th for his fourth World Cup top-15 finish of the season.
"Andrew did a good job. With the super G here, the snow is aggressive," Rearick said. "Andrew executed a good plan and he skied well from top to bottom. He continues to make steps in the right direction with positive solid skiing."
Rearick said that the day represented a good team effort with positive results for the group.
"It was a better effort, a team effort, and it was good to see Bode and Weibrecht step up, along with four guys in the top 30," Rearick said.
Joining Miller and Weibrect in the top 30 were Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA), who was 21st, and Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID) who was 27th.
The men remain in Val Gardena where they will race in a downhill on Saturday that Miller says will be challenging.
"It's a little bit of a tough race because it's really flat and easy. There are no parts in the whole thing that are technical. You just have to be real aerodynamic and hope your skis are fast," Miller said. "It's hard to go fast on those [type of courses] because you don't have a gas pedal that you can just push on. Everyone is doing the same stuff, just some guys are faster."
Also adding to the tough race dynamic will be bad light for the early starters.
"The start position, again, makes a huge difference. If you start early, you don't have a good chance of winning, but its fun," Miller said.
Fans can watch the races live on UniversalSports.com with same-day coverage on Universal Sports TV. Action continues Saturday in Val Gardena with the men’s downhill where Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was a winner three years ago.
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP
Val Gardena, Italy - Dec. 18, 2009
Men's Super G
1. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 1:38.35
2. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 1:38.47
3. Patrick Staudacher, Italy, 1:38.52
4. Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:38.97
5. Bode Miller, Franconia, NH, 1:39.04
15. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 1:39.67
21. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 1:39.93
27. Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID, 1:40.17
34. Jeremy Transue, Hunter, NY, 1:40.47
40. Steven Nyman, Sundance, UT, 1:40.81
46. Scott Macartney, Crystal Mountain, WA, 1:41.45
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP
Val d'Isere, France - Dec. 18, 2009
Women's Super Combined
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 2:37.55
2. Maria Riesch, Germany, 2:38.71
3. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 2:38.94
4. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 2:39. 64
4. Michaela Kirchgasser, Austria, 2:39.64
19. Leanne Smith, North Conway, NH, 2:43.20
22. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN, 2:43.88
27. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 2:44.99
DNS2: Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, VT
DNF1: Keely Kelleher, Big Sky, MT; Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA
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