CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – A fast recovery prevented Lindsey Vonn from crashing into the safety netting and possibly compromising another Olympics.
Still, it wasn’t enough to preserve a victory.
Sofia Goggia of Italy won a World Cup downhill on home snow Friday after Vonn’s mistake.
Vonn was faster than Goggia midway down the Olympia delle Tofane course but had trouble landing a jump and slammed on the brakes to clear the next gate.
“The hill was really good today but obviously the light was not great,” Vonn said of the overcast conditions. “I hit a rut funny and almost went into the net. But I recovered and I tried to take as much speed as I could but I unfortunately lost a lot of time and lost the win.
“But I still got second place, which is pretty outstanding all things considered. I have the speed and I know I’m skiing well so tomorrow is another chance, another opportunity. Hopefully I won’t be caught by that rut again.”
Goggia finished 0.47 seconds ahead of Vonn in second.
“After my ski performance I was not happy, but it lasted and Lindsey made that mistake,” Goggia said. “If that doesn’t happen she probably wins with a big advantage.”
It was the fourth victory of Goggia’s career and second straight after also winning a downhill in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, last weekend.
Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin finished third, 0.84 behind, in her first attempt at the Cortina downhill.
Shiffrin holds a massive 871-point lead ahead of Goggia in the overall standings, while Goggia leads Shiffrin by 49 points in the downhill rankings.
Julia Mancuso, another American standout, announced her retirement and bid the circuit goodbye by wearing a Wonder Woman suit during a casual run.
Slowed by worsening hip problems in recent seasons, Mancuso failed to qualify for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics.
Mancuso will be remembered for her record at big events, having won four medals at Olympics and five at world championships, despite having a small frame for a ski racer.
“In ski racing, for me it was always about having fun,” Mancuso said. “And when I had fun success followed. … I hope my career can inspire others to just have fun, especially as an underdog.”
In the finish area, teammates sprayed Mancuso with champagne.
Friday’s race was originally scheduled for Val d’Isere last month but was moved from the French resort because of poor conditions.
Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday, followed by a super-G on Sunday. Both races are big warmups for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics.
Vonn missed the 2014 Sochi Games because of a right knee injury.
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