Alice McKennis made it a golden day for the American team with her first win on the World Cup. Starting early, 4, the American had to endure virtually the whole field try and beat her time. With the return of Lindsey Vonn attracting a huge following and fresh snow having fallen over night, the American managed to hold on with Daniela Merighetti and Anna Fenninger joining her on the podium. Â Vonn would place sixth in her first race back after illness.
St Anton had recrafted the Karl Schranz race piste but the decision to shorten the course was made after second training had been cancelled due to wind and then snow falling.
With three Americans in the top ten, McKennis winning, Laurenne Ross fifth and Vonn sixth, the Americans are giving the traditional European power houses a good seeing to in the Downhill World Cup: They currently lead the next best, the Swiss by 297 points.
As for the Austrians, their defending World Champion in Downhill and Super G, Lizzi Goergl, pulled out of the races as she is struggling with the set up of her kit. “I have not forgotten how to ski, that is for certain,” she explained after making her decision, “But I also know that I still need a few things. I am seeking and will keep looking and hopefully will find the feeling. I believe that is not missing much, but it is still the crucial. We’ll see in a few weeks if I have found it,” she explained.
So while the Americans march on, Britain’s Chemmy Alcott had another tough day at the office. After the race she tweeted “Tough race today. Attacked with all my might and was 1.2 out just before I fell and punched ground.” Chemmy placed 42nd.
The race was marred by a high speed crash (over 100 kmh) by Marie Marchand Arvier. The talented French racer went for a check up. After the race she used Facebook to tell her fans that “Not very pleasant to fall at more than 100 km/h. At first glance, it’s going; I am well sounded and wait to make a Check up with the medical staff for the future.”