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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vonn back to top in Lake Louise

A lot of talking has been going around the health conditions of Lindsey Vonn since the very misterious hospitalization she underwent a few weeks ago; she looked very tired in Aspen and everyone was wondering whether or not she would have done well in the speed events, mostly because she has always shown a great feeling with the Canadian slope.
All the doubts were cleared, or at least the questions about her chances here in Lake Louise. In less then 48 hours the American won both the downhills making it extremely clear, that on such slopes there's no chance she gets defeated by anyone - it's not a case that with those two wins she's on a 6 races winning streak here-.
In the first Downhill on Friday Stefanie Moser from Austria, with the low bib number of 2 led the race for quite a while thanks to a very impressive first part and an overall solid steep before scoring good sesctions in the final flat again.
The real surprise came few numbers on when American Stacey Cook surprised anyone by exploiting her gliding abilities in the upper and bottom parts, but most of all by hazarding a very brave line to begin the steep in the middle, which eventually paid well as she bettered Moser's time and one after the other saw a lot of big names finishing way behind her.
First to go down in the top group was Lindsey Vonn and she immediatly started to score the best timings in each session and her advantage over the team mate wouldn't but get bigger: one the steep she seemed not once troubled by the speed or the big turns set, like a missile she crossed the finish line with an actualy gap of almost two seconds on everybody else.
Nothing could Maria Riesch do, but see her sectors being one after the other sign the growing distance between her and the American, whilst Tina Weirather from Liechtenstein gave the illusion to be able to stay close to Vonn, before eventually lose distance on the last long flat section at the end. The two finished tie on third place, while Stacey Cook, with the 2nd place, scored her best result ever in World Cup.

The second day the conditions where tougher and the first 15 girls had much of an advantage as after the fog-break a big wind started to blow and none could do much against it, none but Vonn. But let's start from the beginning.
After a couple of rather colourless performances by the first numbers, Swiss Kaufmann-Abderhalden took the lead by using her gliding abilities to the very best of her chances and despite a pretty poor couple of turns in the steep, she could create an impressive speed on the flat session by the end that secured her the lead for many runs after.
Called to the remake of yesterday's unexpected result Stacey Cook didn't fail: she made again a terrific entry to the steep and could accumulate a terrific advantage over the Swiss, but the latter had an unbelievable flat section, so the gap in advantage of the American started to grow thinner and thinner, but by the end it was enough to take the lead.
As it has already been said above, after the longer break caused by the fog, a big wind started to blow on the upper part and almost none could deal with it and lots of them suffered major gaps from Cook already after less than 40 seconds of race.
That didn't happen to Italian Mereghetti, one of the best in the trainings but only 7th yesterday. Dada started with an avarage upper part, unless starting to recover by the middle, when suddenly she almost fell at the beginning of the steep. The huge mistake cost her quite a bunch of hundreds, but in the end she would still finish 5th.
Of course Lindsey Vonn had to leave her trademark on the race and after killing the race just one day back, she did something even great today, by first staying ahead of Cook in spite of the wind blowing, but then by almost stopping on the big turn before the steep because of a bad mistake. The American didn't let this bring her down and despite the error, she gained an unbelievable speed to launch the flat and there she simply blew everyone else's assault to her victory away, by finishing ahead of her team-mate of more than half a second.
In the wind none of the other expected prtagonists could do much but trying not to lose too much, but Lindsey not only made up for that, but with a mistake that would kill anyone's chances for a good placement, she won the race and with margin...just unbelievable!

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