Vonn third in Sochi Olympic downhil preview

By Real Vail
Real AspenFebruary 18, 2012
In a possible preview of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Vail's Lindsey Vonn today finished third on the Rosa Khutor downhill course that will be used for the upcoming Sochi Games in Russia, with her friend and rival, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, winning the race. Austria's Elisabeth Goergl wound up second.

Vonn earned enough points to secure her fifth straight World Cup downhill title and still maintains a commanding lead in the chase for the overall title.

“Downhill is my favorite event and it's always nice to wrap up a title before the end of the season, before the last races,” Vonn told reporters, according to Ski Racing Magazine. “It puts a little less pressure on me.”

Vonn still leads the chase to unseat Hoefl-Riesch for the overall title by 1,442 to 994 for Slovenia's Tina Maze (12th in today's downhill). Hoefl-Riesch, winning for just the second time this season, is in third place with 956 points.

“I may have been a little cautious on the top, because the coaches were saying outside the track was really soft, so I tried to stay a little bit above the line but I think maybe that wasn't the fastest line,” Vonn said.

American women put four racers in the top 10 for the first time since March 17, 1985, during a giant slalom in Waterville Valley, N.H. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was sixth today, Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) was ninth and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) was 10th.

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