19-20 January 2019
Olympia delle Tofane - Cortina d'Ampezzo

Lindsey Vonn is back on Olympia and storms into pole position

The American champion knocks out the opposition in the first timed training run.

The Italians do themselves proud: Goggia second, Brignone fifth.

 

Date: 17/01/2018 from 1500

Lindsey Vonn had a smile on her face as she completed the course ahead of all her opponents in the first timed training run of the downhill competition at the World Cup in Cortina. The Olympia delle Tofane course reserved a windy and cloudy welcome for the athletes and the jury decided to delay the training session, originally scheduled for 10.00, until 11.00. Then they were off, and the American, who has notched up 11 wins on the Cortina course to date, was straight into her stride, clocking the fastest time of 1'37"99. Just behind Vonn was Sofia Goggia, winner of the downhill last weekend in Bad Kleinkirchheim, and one of the athletes who is looking good for the races this weekend. Goggia missed one of the gates at the Schuss, but the mistake did not affect her final time which was 95 hundredths slower than that of her Stars and Stripes rival. Third and fourth places went to two other Americans: Jacqueline Wiles, 2"02 behind Vonn, and Alice Mckennis, 2"29 off the pace. The margins between the athletes were considerable, which only made the result of the First Lady of international skiing even more impressive.

Federica Brignone finished fifth, trailing 2"36 behind the leader but with room to make up, in front of the Swiss athlete Michelle Gisin, 2"50 behind Vonn. Of the other Italians competing, Johanna Schnarf did well in 11th position, and Nadia Fanchini in 14th. Marta Bassino was missing from the Italian line-up, as she had decided to rest in preparation for Thursday’s training run.

The Austrian athlete Cornelia Huetter, one of the favourites, was ninth, almost 3 seconds behind Vonn, while Tina Weirather garnered 11th place. Lara Gut had a slower run, coming in 31st.

The second timed training session is scheduled for Thursday, kicking off at 10 am. 

This is what the top athletes had to say:

Lindsey Vonn: "I did a solid run on a slope that I love and that gave me so much. After my bad result in Bad, it’s great to be back in my stride".

Sofia Goggia: "The slope was amazing, as ever, the snow was packed and a bit softer than other years. I missed a gate but it was the first of a double, so it’s not too serious. I’m happy and ready. I hope to improve on last year’s result and I’m really pumped after the victory in Bad".

Federica Brignone: "The visibility today made things a bit tricky. I haven’t done a lot of downhill, but I think I did quite well. I've got to work on my lines, these training runs help give us a feel for the course. I think I can do a lot better though. There are a lot of long curves on the Olympia slope and you’ve got to let your skis run. Vonn is in her element in these conditions and on this run, because she knows it inside out, it comes naturally to her. She’s one of the favourites".

Nadia Fanchini: "I know I’ve still got a lot to do. The conditions in Bad were ideal for me, whereas here I’ve still got to get a feel for it. Hopefully I will enter the competition in the best possible mental state. I don’t know any athlete who has managed to get back onto the podium after as many injuries as I have had. But I’ve never been one to give up and it was a real victory for me. On the downhill podium I’d put: Goggia, because she is very mindful of her capabilities and definitely Vonn, who most probably will win on this snow. As for third place, well, we’ll have to see".

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