Lindsey Vonn goes into the FIS World Cup downhill event in Val d'Isère, France, in high spirits despite just being knocked off the top of the overall standings by Germany’s Maria Riesch.
After recording back-to-back wins at the start of the month at Lake Louise, Alberta, Vonn endured a disappointing weekend in Åre, Sweden, last week as her closest friend and rival Riesch leapfrogged her to open up a 20-point lead.
But the double world champion is confident that she can bounce back in style after posting the fastest time (1m 44.52s) in the opening training session on the Oreiller-Killy course. The 25-year-old Vonn finished 0.27s ahead of Austrian Elisabeth Görgl, while compatriot Julia Mancuso was another tenth of a second back in third place at the French resort.
'It's really difficult to win the super combined, and everything can happen in downhill and Super G.' – Vonn
"It's nice for confidence," Vonn said. "We are always trying to find a better set-up, we are always testing… it's just a matter of finding the perfect settings. But all is working well now. The conditions out there are great.”
Vonn, who became world champion on Val d'Isère’s Solaise course, is among the favorites for all three of this weekend’s races. She was only denied an historic hat-trick by three hundredths of a second by Görgl in the Super G in the Canadian Rockies.
The alpine queen said of a potential sweep: "It's something that has never been done and it definitely would be great. But I don't expect to do it in Val d'Isère. It's really difficult to win the super combined, and everything can happen in downhill and Super G."
Track Lindsey's results at the FIS World Cup website.