Vail’s Vonn earns 13th downhill title |

Vail’s Vonn earns 13th downhill title

Vail Daily Staff Report
Post Indepenent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Vail’s Lindsey Vonn earned her 13th downhill title and 23rd overall World Cup victory on Friday in Lake Louise, Alberta, gliding through the course in snowy, windy conditions that led to slow times for many other skiers.

Friday’s victory marked six wins at Lake Louise in the last five years for the two-time defending World Cup overall champion.

“It was pretty smooth – I kind of tucked the whole way down and it was exciting,” Vonn said. “I skied pretty well today and I’m really happy with the result today.”

Vonn was undeterred at her home-away-from-home in her custom-designed Spyder suit. Skiing in frigid weather, Vonn took a knee to the chin halfway through her run – where she reached speeds of 78.79 mph – and crossed the finish line with blood on her face.

“At the top, I caught an edge and actually my knee hit my chin and that cut my tongue. I was spitting up blood, it was so nasty,” Vonn said.

“It just about knocked her out, apparently, but she held on and did a great job,” Women’s alpine head coach Jim Tracy said.

Vonn’s winning time was 1 minute, 26.13 seconds, more than a half second ahead of second-place Canadian Emily Brydon in 1:26.65.

“The weather was so bad today, and we had to move the start down,” Tracy said. “We knew we had to keep everybody focused and in their game plans. Lindsey did a great job seeing the course.”

Julia Mancuso finished 10th for the U.S., 0.65 seconds off Vonn’s blistering pace, while 21-year-old Alice McKennis of Glenwood Springs tucked home an 18th-place result in just her second career World Cup downhill race.

According to Tracy, Mancuso’s hard skiing was exactly what she needed to place well on Friday.

“That’s a huge deal. From where she started, we thought she had no chance, because it had started snowing again,” Tracy said. “She made a couple little mistakes up at the top, but she got it back together, and she was flying at the bottom.”

For McKennis, who normally fights the pre-race nerves, the key to her success was to keep it calm.

“I was really relaxed and calm. I didn’t really feel nervous at all, which is kind of weird. I’m usually nervous. I just wanted to have fun and ski well and I think that’s what I did,” McKennis said. “I started out on the top and did alright on the top flat. I had some small mistakes here and there but overall I think I kept my speed going the whole way down and that’s what kept me in there.”

Canada’s Britt Janyk was the early leader with a 1:27.22 as an overnight storm put its finishing touches on the course.

Brydon supplanted her compatriot when the 29-year-old carved a strong run in front of home fans, putting up a time that survived a charge by 2009 World Cup runner-up and eventual third-place finisher Maria Riesch, of Germany.

The women compete again today in another World Cup downhill race in Lake Louise.

“I feel really good and I’m skiing with a lot confidence,” Vonn said “The weather is not supposed to be great for the next couple of days, but I know I’ve had bad weather before like today. Hopefully tomorrow I’m going to try to have a more solid clean run.”

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