Vonn takes 5th in World Cup GS in Lienz, Austria

Vail's Schleper finishes 23rd, announces retirement

By Real Vail
Real AspenDecember 28, 2011
Vail's Lindsey Vonn battled a long and rugged World Cup giant slalom course in Lienz, Austria, today en route to a fifth-place finish that padded her overall World Cup lead to 231 points with just one race remaining before the New Year.

Austria's Anna Fenninger, 22, won the race for the first victory of her young World Cup career. Italy's Federica Brignone was second, and Tessa Worley, of France, finished third.
Lindsey Vonn takes 5th in Lienz GS.
U.S. Ski Team
Vonn won her first ever World Cup GS in Soelden, Austria, in October, but it's still considered the three-time overall World Cup champion's weakest event. But she drew the first bib number for today's race.

"I was a bit nervous because it was the first time ever I started No. 1," Vonn said. "Especially in GS, it's only the third race that I am in the top seven, so it's pretty exciting.

Minimal snow made for slick and bumpy conditions on one of the longest GS venues on the women's circuit.

"The course is awesome, the snow is perfect, they've done a really good job," Vonn said. "It's not easy. You see there is no snow in the area, but they made the race hill perfect."

American Julia Mancuso, the Olympic GS gold medalist in 2006, was 17th, and Vail's Sarah Schleper finished 23rd.

Schleper, 32, reportedly announced she'll retire after racing in a slalom -- the final women's World Cup of 2011 -- scheduled for Thursday in Lienz.

The Denver Post today reported Schleper is calling it quits after 15 World Cup seasons, 186 starts, four Olympic teams, five World Championship teams, one World Cup win and four World Cup podiums.

For complete results of today's race, click here.

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