Vonn wins 59th World Cup race

Lindsey Vonn put down the marker for the World Championships in winning her sixth race of the season in Maribor. Trailing in third after the first run, Vonn destroyed the second run to overhaul first run leader Tina Maze, who came second, and Anna Fenninger who had been in the lead when Vonn took to the course on the second run. When Vonn has podiumed this season, there is only one place she has finished: First.

Vonn, who has suffered with various ailments this winter, is now looking back to her best as the World Championships approach. Chasing a deficit of almost half a second on the first run leader, Vonn produced one of her classic attacking runs to overhaul the leader in the finish, Anna Fenninger. Vonn admitted afterwards “It was my 1st GS race since my comeback and didn’t know I would be able to win today”. She then had to wait as first Zettel and then Maze tried to beat her time. Both failed but Maze came close being 0.08 seconds behind at the end.

“I skied well on the first run, but I didn’t ski the bottom very well,” said Vonn. “Second run, I decided, OK, it’s all or nothing. I have to go for it. I definitely made some mistakes. But, damn, a first win in GS since last year. It’s been a rough year in GS for me. This is perfect.” Vonn had trained only three days prior to the race and had hoped for a top five place. Now she says she will attack hard in the slalom as well.

Tina Maze, who had 25,000 fans screaming for her to go for the win admitted that she had made a mistake on the second run and that she could not live with Vonn. A small consolation for her was securing the Globe for the Giant Slalom this season.

Anna Fenninger admitted afterwards that she was pleased that she can “constantly ski well; the second run was good and I can look positively into the future.”

This win takes Vonn to within three wins of Annemarie Moser-Proell in terms of the most successful female World Cup athlete of all time and lifts her into third in the race for the Overall, behind Maria Hoefl-Riesch (4th in the race) and ahead of Anna Fenninger.