LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Lindsey Vonn stepped into the starting gate at Lake Louise – race over.
These days, on this course, it almost seems that simple for the American standout.
Vonn won a super-G on Sunday to complete a sweep of World Cup races at Lake Louise for the third time in her career. She finished in 1 minute, 19.79 seconds during an event in which Olympic and world slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin made her speed debut. Shiffrin finished a respectable 15th.
The 31-year-old Vonn beat Tamara Tippler of Austria by 1.32 seconds. The margin of victory was the largest in a women’s super-G since 1997, according to information provided by the U.S. Ski Team. Another Austrian, Cornelia Huetter, was third.
“Whenever you win, period, let alone by over a second, it definitely gives you that little bit extra boost of confidence,” said Vonn, who has 70 career World Cup victories. “I’m feeling great, and I know my super-G is good – my downhill is pretty good – so I feel like I’m in a good place for the next couple races.”
Vonn captured both downhill races over the weekend to help her earn the hat trick. Vonn also accomplished the feat at the Alberta resort in 2011 and ’12.
What’s more, she has 14 downhill victories and four super-G wins at a place that’s referred to as “Lake Lindsey” because of her dominance.
“It was a big deal,” Vonn said. “I feel like there were some people that doubted whether I could win today, and especially because Lara (Gut) had won the last couple races here in super-G.”
The Americans placed four racers in the top 20. Laurenne Ross was 12th, Shiffrin 15th and Stacey Cook 17th.
“Mission accomplished,” Shiffrin said about her speed debut. “In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘I’ll get points, but maybe a top 15.’ So, by holding in 15th, that’s a really good day.”
Leading up to her venture into speed at Lake Louise, Shiffrin studied footage of races from the venue, no doubt taking in quite a few wins by Vonn. And while there were spots on the course where Shiffrin maybe turned too much or was a bit wide, all in all, a solid performance.
“I felt like I carried some good speed,” Shiffrin said. “What I hear is that I was pretty good on the flats, and that’s probably a spot where everyone expected me to be slow. So I’m starting ahead of where I actually thought I would. I felt solid on the skis and it was really fun, to be honest.”
Vonn was certainly impressed.
“I watched her run and I thought she did really well,” Vonn said. “In general, she’s such a technically sound skier and she has such a great feel for the snow.
“I’m sure she’s going to be a strong competitor here in the next couple races.”
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