U.S. Ski Team/Doug Haney
Vail's Vonn completes hat trick; now just four wins shy of Bode's all-time U.S. mark
January 10, 2010 —
HAUS IM ENNSTAL, Austria - Finally, third try’s a charm for Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO). After near misses in hat trick bids at Val d’Isere, France (third in the super G), and Lake Louise, AB (second in the super G), the skier with a vice grip on the early World Cup points standings followed two consecutive downhill wins with a triumph in the super G on Sunday in Haus Im Ennstal, Austria, besting the field by more than a half second.
"It’s good to know that I can do it," Vonn said. "There was definitely a little bit more pressure today because everybody was wanting me to do the three in a row, and I wanted to do it myself, so it’s just good to know that I can ski well under pressure, and it just gives me more and more confidence going into Vancouver."
Vonn becomes the first American – man or woman – ever to win on three straight days. The last time an international woman accomplished the feat was Dec. 4-6, 1997, when German Katja Seizinger won a speed trio in Lake Louise, AB.
And as if that’s not reward enough, Vonn’s picture will adorn three gondolas at the resort to commemorate her 26th, 27th and 28th World Cup wins.
"The course was awesome, I had so much fun," Vonn said. "The snow was in perfect condition and I just let it go. I didn’t concentrate too much on all the tactics, I just tried to really charge as much as I could.
"Everything’s fitting really well together – my serviceman, my skis, my tactics, my coaches, everything’s going so well, and I couldn’t be more thankful."
Vonn, who trailed Sweden’s Anja Paerson at the first interval but picked up steam through the middle section of the course and crossed the line .53 seconds ahead, said she just tried to keep it simple and ski a clean run.
"It’s an incredible performance," said women’s speed coach Alex Hoedelmoser. "From the midway down it gets really technical and steep. She had a perfect line and was aggressive enough to master the final part."
The victory also moved the two-time defending overall champion to second all time for Americans with her 28th win, passing Phil Mahre (Bode Miller has 31).
"I’m proud of myself," Vonn said of achieving the trifecta. "It’s not easy to do. I was tired today, and it’s hard to stay focused, but I did it, now I’m done - now I’m just going to try to recover for the slalom in two days."
She now leads the overall World Cup by 192 points over Maria Riesch of Germany, the downhill by 164 over Riesch, the super G by 95 over Swiss Nadia Styger, and the super combined by 20 points – also over Riesch.
As for the bone bruise on her left arm that has her in a cheetah brace, Hoedelmoser said it shouldn’t be an issue outside of the slalom, where she brushes up against gates.
"It doesn’t really bother her too much anymore at the start," he said.
Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was 10th for the U.S., with Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT) also finishing in the points at 21st.
Next up for the U.S. women is a slalom in Flachau, Austria on Tuesday.
2010 Audi FIS World Cup
Haus Im Ennstal, Austria - Jan. 10, 2010
Women’s Super G
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:26.69
2. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:27.22
3T. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, 1:27.54
3T. Martina Schild, Switzerland, 1:27.54
5. Andrea Fischbacher, Austria, 1:27.86
10. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:28.45
21. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, VT, 1:29.10
32. Leanne Smith, North Conway, NH, 1:30.06
35. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 1:30.36
37. Keely Kelleher, Big Sky, MT, 1:30.53
46. Alice McKennis, Glenwood Springs, CO, 1:31.33
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