Tina Weirather Wins World Cup Downhill In Germany; Vonn Hangs On To Slim DH Title Lead
Stunning weather and snow conditions welcomed 43 racers Saturday for the seventh downhill race of the season, this time at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather produced a superb performance down a well-prepared Kandahar piste, clocking the winning time of 1:40.94.
The 26-year-old, who was already the fastest in the training run on Friday, earned her first World Cup victory of the season and the first ever career downhill win.
“I always look forward to coming to Garmisch-Partenkirchen,” said Weirather. “I like the hill and I have been successful here already. But to win my first downhill is very special. It has always been one of my big goals. Achieving this today brings a lot of emotions.”
Anna Fenninger's incredible run continues as she has finished either first (3 times) or second (4 times) in the last seven World Cup races she has entered.
Coming off an impressive weekend in Bansko, Bulgaria with a double victory, the Austrian came in second, 0.51 seconds behind Weirather, closing the gap in the battle for the overall with Tina Maze, who finished third, 0.91 seconds out.
Tina Maze, Slovenia, who won the last time a downhill race was held in the Bavarian ski resort in 2013, climbed onto the podium for the 10th time of the season.
American Lindsey Vonn struggled to find the right pace and had to be content with seventh place on the day, 1.40 seconds adrift.
"In general I thought it was a decent run," explained Vonn. "Maybe I was a little bit too direct in some turns and pushed a little bit too low. I am a little bit disappointed with how my placing is. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow."Other American finishers were Alice McKennis, 13th; Stacey Cook, 22nd; and Julia Mancuso, 32nd.
Still, Vonn maintained a 35 point lead in the total downhill standings of Fenninger. The last downhill of the season at the World Cup Finals in Meribel, France will decide it.
A super-G race is scheduled for Sunday in Garmisch.
World Cup Men: It’s Austria’s Reichelt…Again
After two days of full on winter conditions and temperatures well below the freezing point, Saturday was a completely different story for the men’s downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. A warm weather front moved in overnight drastically changing the conditions of the snow on the course and even forcing Organizers to salt the course to ensure even conditions for all racers.
As if the high temperatures weren’t enough, a thick fog on the top sections forced the lowering of the start to the reserve position, shortening the downhill race for the third year in a row. Luckily, once the start was lowered and the course salted, the downhill race proved as exciting as expected with Hannes Reichelt once again being the man to beat. His 1 minute 29.65 seconds long run earned him his third downhill victory of the season.
In second place, Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis laid down possibly his best run of the season and crossed the finish line 0.30 seconds behind Reichelt while Italian Werner Heel rounded out the podium, finishing 0.38 seconds behind.
American Travis Ganong was sixth. A super G is set for Sunday.
Photo: Lichtenstein's Tina Weirather wins downhill in Garmisch (Tina Weirather/Facebook)