Lindsey Vonn races to 13th World Cup victory at Lake Louise
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Lindsey Vonn raced to her 13th World Cup victory at Lake Louise on Saturday, leading another 1-2 U.S. sweep in the second downhill at the Canadian resort.
Vonn finished in 1 minute, 52.9 seconds to edge teammate Stacey Cook by 0.52 seconds. On Friday in the season-opening downhill, Vonn beat Cook by 1.73 seconds.
Vonn nearly skidded into safety nets rounding a corner halfway down the course.
“A lot of people make mistakes in a lot of races, but if you don’t think you’re going to win after a mistake then you’re not,” Vonn said. “I kept charging. I knew I could make up some time if I skied well on the bottom and thankfully my skis were fast and I had a good line and I was able to make it up.”
Switzerland’s Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden was third in 1:53.52.
Alice McKennis placed 11th with a time of 1:54.60. McKennis is from New Castle.
The 28-year-old Vonn, from Burnsville, Minn., will race in the super-G on Sunday in a bid to sweep the three-race event for the second straight year.
“I did it last year and I’m going to do my best but super-G is a whole other ball game,” Vonn said. “I really hope I can get another sweep, but I would be extremely happy to be on the podium.”
Vonn tied Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider for second place on the World Cup victory list with 55. Austria’s Annamarie Moser-Proell is the leader with 62.
Vonn raced for the third time since returning from a stomach bug that landed her in the hospital. Last week in Aspen, Colo., she was 21st in the giant slalom, then skipped the slalom.
“I’m a little bit more tired today for sure, especially with that mistake,” Vonn said. “It was definitely interesting today and an adventure. I’ve made mistakes here before. I haven’t won with that big of a mistake before.”
She said she felt pressure to win the women’s races because she asked the world governing body of skiing to race the men’s World Cup at Lake Louise. Vonn was denied by FIS, but hasn’t given up on that dream. Her best argument to race the men at Lake Louise is to continue winning by large margins.
“I’ve been racing here for so many years that there’s definitely been a lot of interesting things that have gone in the races, but this weekend was very important for me to make sure I won at least one race and to come away with two wins is more than I hoped for being sick,” she said.
“I felt like I had a lot of pressure coming into these races because I, of course, wanted to race the men. You make that kind of statement, you kind of have to back it up. I’m confident in the way I ski here. I know what to do and I think I proved that this weekend.”
Cook watched Vonn’s run on television at the bottom of the course.
“I was like ‘I don’t have a chance’ and then I saw her make a mistake. My heart stopped beating for a second,” Cook said. “But she’s so good. She’s the only person who can stop and still win.”
The 28-year-old Cook, from Mammoth Mountain, Calif., celebrated her first two podium finishes.
“I really kind of lifted a monkey off my back yesterday getting that first podium out of the way,” she said. “I know I can compete with these girls. It’s just been a long time coming to actually believe it and I think I’m starting to.”
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Burning Mountain Park in New Castle will illuminate Saturday evening at the town’s Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off between 5 and 7 p.m.