Riesch closes overall gap by edging Vonn in downhill at World Cup Finals
March 10, 2010 —
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) started the wrap up of her 2010 season with yet another podium as she took second during the downhill at Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Wednesday. Maria Riesch of Germany took the win, closing the gap on Vonn in the World Cup overall standings.
"It was a tough downhill and I tried my best. But I didn't ski the best that I could have and made a couple mistakes and that's why Maria was the winner today," Vonn said. "Anyone can win these races and I have to ski my best if I want to continue to win. "
For Vonn, the day marked a special occasion as she received the crystal globe for winning the World Cup downhill title – a title she clinched last weekend with a win in Crans Montana, Switzerland. It marked her third consecutive downhill title after winning six of eight downhill races this season, including five straight to open the year.
"It was a great day. It's always nice to end the season well. I'm really happy with my second place today, but even more happy to be holding the crystal globe up there on the podium," Vonn said. "It's been an amazing season for me in downhill and I feel like I've been more consistent this year than in past years."
Now, the hunt is on for Vonn to also lock in the third consecutive World Cup overall title of her career. With a 225 point difference between her and her best friend Riesch, Vonn still isn't taking anything for granted and plans to kick things into high gear.
"For me, my eyes are set on the big crystal - the overall title - so I have to really try hard to beat Maria in these next couple races so that I can close the overall before the slalom," said Vonn, who has also locked the super G and super combined titles. "Anything is possible. Maria already said that I won, but nothing is over until it's over. So I'll just keep fighting and hopefully I can do it."
Winning the overall in mind, Vonn also noted it would be nice to notch out at least one more victory before the close of the year.
"I'm really happy with second place and for me it's a good end to the season. I'm going to try to ski better in the super G and finish out the season with at least one more win," Vonn said. "I'm happy. I'm skiing relaxed and I'm having a good time."
Following Vonn for the USA was none other than double Olympic silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) who said being tentative held her back in the downhill.
"I went out, had an OK run and I am happy about it," Mancuso said. "I really just wanted to charge. I think in the end I skied a little bit conservative but it was good to get another consistent finish."
However, looking at her season as a whole, Mancuso is happy to have her consistency back and plans to parlay it into a better season in 2011.
"It's nice to come into the finals skiing fast and hopefully I'll carry the momentum into next year," Mancuso said. "Things couldn't have gone any better at the Olympics. It was really hard coming back from a back injury. Of course I'll be looking to ski better next year, but it's good to end it this way."
It was the last World Cup races of the season for Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), who finished 16th and 21st respectively. Despite looking for more in today's race, McKennis was completely satisfied with her rookie season on the World Cup, which took her to both the Olympic Games and World Cup Finals. Both she and Cook will return to the U.S. to prepare for the U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain in New York.
"I'm stoked to be here. It's been an awesome season and I've had so much fun. I'm looking forward to summer, having some time off in the sun and getting ready for next season," McKennis said. "My first few World Cups I was pretty nervous, it was the big show. Now it seems really natural to be here."
In the men's downhill, Switzerland's Carlo Janka took the World Cup win to finish second in the World Cup downhill standings behind teammate Didier Cuche, who secured the men's title last weekend in Norway. U.S. men did not compete, opting instead to nurse some season-long injuries that had been nagging them.
The action in Garmisch-Partenkirchen continues Thursday with men's super G and women's giant slalom. Fans can catch the action live on UniversalSports.com.
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP FINALS
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 10, 2010
1. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:34.82
2. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:35.30
3. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:35.95
4. Nadja Kamer, Switzerland, 1:36.04
5. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:36.13
16. Alice McKennis, Glenwood Springs, CO, 1:37.08
21. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CO, 1:37.73
1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 1:58.45
2. Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:58.47
3 (T). Erik Guay, Canada, 1:58.52
3 (T). Patrick Kueng, Switzerland, 1:58.52
5. Hans Grugger, Austria, 1:58.56
Comment on "Riesch closes overall gap by edging Vonn in downhill at World Cup Finals" using the form below