Alpine sking-Vonn cruises to 12th Lake Louise victory

Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:56pm EST
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By Patrick Lang

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn resumed her winning ways in her Lake Louise backyard by clinching her 12th race in the Canadian resort on Friday after a false start to the season.

Her 10th downhill victory on the Men's Olympic piste was clocked in one minute and 52.61 seconds and the American's first World Cup win of the winter was her 54th overall.

With her usual ease on a course she knows to perfection, Vonn left her nearest rival, compatriot Stacey Cook, a huge 1.73 seconds adrift, while Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather shared the third spot, 0.01 seconds further back.

But despite her considerable lead, Vonn insisted it had been a hard race given her season start was hampered by a hand injury and stomach problems which forced her to spend time in hospital.

"It was extremely hard and I was very nervous this morning. Yesterday I didn't feel well enough to train and I knew everybody was watching and I couldn't miss out," she said.

"It forced me to have a good run even though the piste wasn't great and I'm far from my best shape. It's a pleasant surprise."

The race was held in poor conditions of visibility and halted three times because of the fog - Swiss Lara Gut was even allowed to start again after being showed the yellow flag halfway down her run.

But the organisers still managed to squeeze all the skiers down the course.   Continued...

U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn speeds past a gate in the fog during the first Women's World Cup downhill skiing race of the season in Lake Louise, Alberta, November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake