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Vonn Still Waits For Downhill Record In Cortina; Ligety Fifth At Wengen

CortinaA shortened Cortina downhill became more of a sprint course Friday, with Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) leading the USA. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, Calif.) was eighth and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) tenth, having to wait again for record win number 62 in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.

Host Italy had its day with Elena Fanchini taking the win by .15 over Canada's Larisa Yirkiw. Viktoria Rebensberg of Germany was third.

Ross took the early lead out of the top starting position on a course that was shortened by nearly 20 seconds from Thursday's lone training run due to weather. The start was in the fog with light snow falling during the race. Ross was just three-hundredths off the podium. Three of the top four started in the first five racers, as conditions deteriorated through the running order.

"I was surprised at how foggy it was - all the way to Daytona, the big left footed turn," said Vonn. "I charged, but I had a hard time seeing everything. And it was snowing so that slowed it down, especially on the flats. Sometimes it happens that way when the weather changes - some people have sunshine, some have fog. It’s not always fair but it’s an outdoor sport. Tomorrow’s another day. I’m looking forward to it."

Meanwhile at Wengen in the traditional Lauberhorn weekend, Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) battled the alpine combined—a downhill followed by one run of slalom—to be the top American, finishing in fifth place. Downhiller Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) skied to 15th, his first top 15 on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup this season. Carlo Janka of Switzerland won the race by 1.31 seconds and Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France was second.

The first run on Wengen’s famed Lauberhorn downhill was solid for Ligety and Goldberg, giving them good start numbers for the slalom portion. Ligety took 27th—a respectable finish for the tech skier. “It wasn’t great skiing. My turns were really grindy in some places,” Ligety critiqued after his downhill run. “In this snow, you pay hard because there’s decent snow out there.” Goldberg finished 19th.

Photo: Cortina, Italy is site of world Cup races this weekend (Dolomites)


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