VAL D’ISERE, France - Lindsey Vonn’s stunning revival continued when she clinched her second victory in four races in a women’s downhill on Saturday to move within sight of the all-time record of World Cup wins.
Back in action two weeks ago in Lake Louise after a one-year break and two knee operations, the four-times World Cup winner stunned won her second race, a downhill in Lake Louise, before finishing second in a Super-G.
Her rivals were warned but could hardly do a thing when the former Olympic and world champion skied an almost immaculate run in Val D’Isere to clinch her 61st World Cup victory in one minute 44.47 seconds.
Vonn is only one win short of the 62 mark held by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell and she could equal it in Sunday’s Super-G on the same Oreiller-Killy course.
“Before talking about the record, let me first beat it. I’ve talked about it for so long I have the impression that the more I talk about it the further it gets,” the 30-year-old American told reporters.
The podium was a prestigious one with 2011 downhill and Super-G world champion Elizabeth Goergl of Austria and 2010 Olympic giant slalom champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany tied for second place, 0.19 seconds behind Vonn.
Her victorious return in Lake Louise was spectacular but was undermined by the fact that the Canadian course is considered Vonn’s backyard after she won 15 World Cup races there.
“In Lake Louise, I won so many times that some people automatically assume that I should win there. But it’s never easy to win in any World Cup race,” she said.
The day was also a special one for Goergl, who had two up-and-down seasons since her double world title in 2011, and for Rebensburg, who had never made it on to a downhill podium before.
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud collected his fourth victory of the season in the men’s Super-G in Val Gardena, Italy to take his overall lead in the World Cup standings to 152 points over Austrian holder Marcel Hrischer.
Jansrud won in 1:33.87 ahead of Italy’s Dominik Paris and Austria’s Hannes Reichelt for his sixth podium in six speed events.
The men’s program continues with a giant slalom in Alta Badia on Sunday.
Editing by Ed Osmond