LAKE LOUISE, Canada- It’s the second hat-trick for Lindsey Vonn! After winning three races out of three two years ago in Haus, Austria; she does it again in Lake Louise. With a time of 1 minute, 20.21 seconds, the American was the fastest one down the course for the third time in three days. This time the gap between the leader and second ranked Anna Fenninger form Austria, might not have been as impressive as the previous days, but by being 0.19 seconds ahead, Vonn made sure to prove she is unbeatable in Lake Louise. Julia Mancuso, Vonn’s teammate will be leaving for Beaver Creek with a great third place, .71 seconds behind the leader.
Although somewhat expected to win, Vonn kept looking at the big screen making sure no surprises happened. Once there were over 35 skiers in the finish, she finally seemed to believe she would be winning her 11th race in lake Louise.
“I couldn’t be happier, I didn’t really expecting while coming here. It was a tough week and this is exactly what I needed. A hat-trick is a rare thing to do, I felt like I skied better the previous days but a win is a win. I didn’t feel all that strong on top, but really attacked at the bottom and ended up having an amazing day. At this time, having the support of Maria (Hoefl- Riesch) and having my sister Karin fly in for the weekend was really helpful. Skiing is my best therapy, I love to ski fast, it’s what puts a smile on my face,” Vonn told the press.
After being left just off the Lake Louise podium twice in the previous years, Anna Fenninger couldn’t be happier about her second place in Sunday’s Super G. For a moment it looked as if she could even challenge Vonn’s third victory, but the American just proved to be too strong on the last, flat section of the course.
“It was a really good run, especially in the steep section,” Fenninger said “I had some really good speed. I’m very happy with my run, it was perfect. While Lindsey was behind in the steep section, for a moment I though maybe I could beat hr, but in the flats she is so strong and she is the best at the moment so she deserved to win. This podium is really important for the rest of the season; I got some real race self-confidence. If you are fast in training, and I was fast the three days we skied SG in Copper Mountain, you still need to prove yourself in the race. It’s the first race, and I’m going to the next one knowing I can. I’m looking forward to Beaver Creek, it’s a bit steeper, and it suits me better.”
Julia Mancuso was third in last year’s SG race in Lake Louise and this year she is opening the season with the same result.
“It was so hard to tell if you are fast or not coming down. I went wide in a few turns, skied in the little snow, which was not completely cleared out. For a moment I thought I lost speed. But this gives me great confidence going to Beaver Creek, although I believe it won’t be easy there. It’s a completely different course there and I believe some adjustments will have to be made. But we will see, I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Mancuso said.
Way to end two beautiful weeks of speed races. We saw all kinds of excitement here in Lake Louise. From veterans showing you are never too old to win, young athletes finding their spot among those they had been looking up to while growing up, expected winners winning with historic time differences, young skiers attacking from the back of the pack to achieve outstanding results, first points and first podiums. We witnessed a few spectacular crashes, none of them luckily causing major injuries. Overall, one couldn’t have asked for a better start of the season.
It’s time for the ladies to pack up and head to meet up with the men’s Tour in Beaver Creek. It might be over here in Lake Louise, but there is more racing coming up in the next days, so stay tuned for more news.
by Ana Jelusic