Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany – While most of the racers struggled to keep their line and tame the higher speed, American Lindsey Vonn put in a flawless run to win her 38th career World Cup downhill race.
With bib 22, the World Cup leader displayed her superb technical skills down the 2740 meter Khandahar course, leading at every intermediate time, to finally clock the winning time of 1:40.80, more than 1.5 seconds quicker than her closest rivals.
“It was definitely a lot different today than it was in the training run,” Vonn explained. “Pretty much a totally different course. It was about nine seconds faster, so I just had to be tactically smart in some sections and it was definitely bumpy. I know a lot of girls were having some trouble with the bumps and it was very flat light in some sections but I think I just executed well in the right places and was able to carry my speed through the course.”
Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter came second, while home crowd favourite Viktoria Rebensburg finished third, respectively 1.51 and 1.57 seconds off the pace.
Suter, who missed the speed races in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, after tearing a muscle just above her left knee in a training run, made her comeback in Cortina d’Ampezzo but had to be content with 18th place in the downhill. The 31-year-old demonstrated today she had completely recovered, by climbing onto the runner-up spot for the third time this campaign.
“You have to be brave because it was very dark and there were little bumps and you couldn’t see this,” Suter said. “I’m happy I made it. I did well and I just enjoy this moment now . It’s a nice one.”
“It’s nice to have a season with some podiums,” Suter continued. “I would like to do some more. Now we’ll have some races in Switzerland with Crans-Montana, Lenzerheide and St. Moritz. I hope I can aloso perform well in Switzerland for all our fans, our friends.”
Local hero Viktoria Rebensburg has been in scintillating form and landed her third podium in a row this season, the first one on the Bavarian snow.
“The first time on the podium in my home race in Garmisch means it is a really nice day for me,” Rebensburg told reporters. “I really enjoy it now. Yeah, because it’s special for us, for sure. The people were awesome down here. Really good atmosphere and I really enjoyed skiing here.”
“In the training run, there was less speed,” she continued. “It was way softer and bally down here. Today, the good thing is it turned out pretty good and hard, but for sure, it was a huge difference compared to the first run, training run. You had to adapt. You had a way higher speed, but I mean, we saw it on the TV a bit and heard from the people around that for sure it’s different. Hey, then you just have to adjust to the conditions and try to get the best out of it.”
In the overall standings, Vonn extended her lead over Switzerland’s Lara Gut, who finished 14th, 2.86 seconds out. Vonn has now exactly 1000 points, 127 more than Gut.
The fourth super-G race of the season is scheduled to start tomorrow Sunday at 11:00 CET