Mancuso 24th at World Cup Downhill Race

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

American Lindsey Vonn finished third in a World Cup downhill Sunday, good enough to regain the lead in the overall standings.

The defending overall and downhill champion trailed co-winners
Anja Paerson of Sweden and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland by 0.17
seconds. They both finished the 1.83-mile Kaelberloch course in 1
minute, 47.52 seconds.

Vonn won her third World Cup event of the season and 16th
overall, leaving her two short of American Tamara McKinney's record
18 victories.

"It means the world to me that I am even being considered with
such legends as Tamara," she said.

Vonn moved ahead of Maria Riesch of Germany, who had led the
standings but finished seventh. Vonn has 776 points, followed by
Riesch with 765 and Paerson with 702.

"At this point it's not entirely important (to lead the
standings), but at the same time it feels good," said Vonn, who
won the super-combi on Saturday. "It's definitely a
confidence-builder."

Vonn also tops the downhill standings after two events. But she
went out cautiously after nearly crashing in the super-combined
downhill the previous day. She made a great recovery after almost
falling backward while landing from a jump.

"I was a little bit nervous about that. I don't normally get
that way," Vonn said. "I skied a little bit too cautiously going
into the jump, that's why I didn't win."

Still, Vonn accomplished her goal of attaining two podium
finishes over the weekend.

"I am happy," she said. "It was important to get the points
and especially today conditions were hard. It was windy and the
light wasn't good. It was tough to come down and be fast. But I
know where I made my mistakes, so I feel confident going to
Cortina."

American teammate Julia Mancuso, who struggled with back
problems early in the season, finished 24th.

The sunny weather changed during the race as clouds came in.
Gisin, who started with bib No. 4, said conditions had favored her.

"I was lucky with the weather, I had a better sight than most
of the top racers," said Gisin, who won her first World Cup. "I
wasn't too fast at the start, but then I thought I had to give just
everything."

Paerson, won her 40th World Cup title, led Gisin by 0.48 seconds
at the second intermediate time.

"It got quite dark. The upper part was OK, but the trees made
it very dark afterward," Paerson said. "I struggled to see the
right line."

The World Cup moves to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, for four speed
races that start Thursday.


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