CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Lindsey Vonn ended a five-week winless streak Sunday with an emphatic victory in a World Cup super-G that moved her into sole possession of third place on the career wins list.
The American clocked 1 minute, 26.16 seconds down the Olympia delle Tofane course, finishing a massive 0.61 seconds in front of German rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch, with Tina Maze of Slovenia third.
Vonn captured her 47th career victory and moved ahead of retired Austrian great Renate Goetschl. Only Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell (62) and Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider (55) have more.
“Records in skiing are really important to me,” Vonn said. “The history in our sport is something you can look back on when your career is over and really be proud of what you accomplished.”
She finished second in the windy downhill Saturday and hadn’t won since taking a super-G on home snow Dec. 7 in Beaver Creek, Colo. She struggled with a stomach illness and uncharacteristically missed the podium in two speed races last weekend in Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria.
“Last week I wasn’t healthy and I couldn’t be competitive, but I feel strong again now,” Vonn said.
The last of the top-ranked skiers to start, Vonn led at every interval and was more than a second ahead of Hoefl-Riesch at the last checkpoint. While she lost nearly half of her lead over Hoefl-Riesch on the lower section of the course, Vonn celebrated when she crossed the finish line, hardly looking to see her time.
Vonn claimed her sixth career win in Cortina, moving within four of Goetschl’s record for victories at a single resort. Vonn also tied Goetschl for the most super-G wins on the all-time list with 17.
“Renate has always been such a role model. I remember a few years ago racing together. She did so much in her career,” Vonn said. “Cortina has always been a special place for me. I had my first World Cup podium here and I like the hill and the snow is always perfect — really dry, dense snow that’s really similar to the snow in Colorado where I grew up skiing.”
Vonn extended her lead in both the overall and super-G standings. She holds a 291-point lead over Maze in the overall standings and an 87-point lead over Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter in the super-G.
The race was held in perfect conditions, under clear skies with no wind and the snow grippy like the skiers prefer. Still, 15 skiers did not finish their runs, including the first racer out of the gate, Margret Altacher of Austria, who lost control and hit the safety netting at full speed. She got up and skied down under her own power.
Maze caused a stir when she revealed a message on her sports bra while waiting in the leader’s box, a week after the Swiss team protested the level of plastic in her long underwear.
“Not your business,” was written in black marker on her white bra.
The Swiss protested after Maze finished second in a super-G, saying the plastic level in Maze’s one-piece garment exceeded International Ski Federation (FIS) rules and gave her an aerodynamic edge.
The FIS issued a statement on Saturday that the garment had passed permeability tests, but recommended racers not to use it because it could prevent the body from breathing.
Maze said she was wearing a different garment for this race, because the FIS has not given back the controversial one after taking it for tests.
“I really don’t understand now if I can use it or not,” Maze said. “If it’s all OK, if the factory explained that it’s not plastic, that it’s (a) normal under-suit, it shouldn’t be blocked. I hope we will get an answer — yes or no.”
The circuit moves to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for slalom and giant slalom races next weekend.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)