McKennis upstages Vonn at St Anton downhill
- Published: 12/01/2013 at 07:45 PM
- Online news:
Four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn returned to action on Saturday after a month's absence, but it was US teammate Alice McKennis who topped the podium in the World Cup downhill.
Alice McKennis of US reacts in finish area of the women's World Cup downhill, on January 12, 2012 in Austria. McKennis won the event, ahead of Daniela Merighetti of Italy and Austrian Anna Fenninger.
McKennis, starting with bib number four, clocked 1min 14.62sec down the Karl Schranz course, for her maiden victory finishing 0.07sec ahead of Italian Daniela Merighetti, with Austrian Anna Fenniger taking third at 0.16sec.
Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia came in fourth, with another American, Laurenne Ross in fifth, and Vonn in sixth, 0.34sec adrift.
McKennis praised the US team after she became the fifth American to win a World Cup race this season.
"Being in such a strong team is pretty inspiring. We all work together and help each other. Having Lindsey around is a great motivation. It is really good to have her as a benchmark during our training sessions. This pushes us all to ski super fast."
Vonn has endured a roller-coaster season, being hospitalised with an intestinal ailment before bouncing back to win all three races at Lake Louise.
However, after falling at Val D'Isere in December, she announced she was heading back to the United States for a month's rest.
In 27 days' absence, Vonn missed six events, all technical, comprising three slaloms, two giant slaloms and a parallel slalom. In that time, Maze upped the ante in the race for the overall title by notching up 340 points.
Vonn, whose divorce from husband and former ski racer Thomas Vonn was made official on Thursday, now has 454 points in the overall standings, 735 behind Maze.
"I'm just happy to be back. It was definitely tough conditions. The course workers did a great job - I almost didn't think it was possible to run today," she said.
"I made some mistakes but I felt good and I felt my skiing was where it should be."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency