Published on January 27th, 2012 | by Alan Abrahamson1
Lindsey Vonn: halfway to 2k
It was a perfect day for alpine skiing Friday in St. Moritz, Switzerland, site of the 1928 Winter Olympics, blue skies and no wind, the kind that makes you think about possibilities.
They held the first super-combined race this season on the women’s tour, and Lindsey Vonn won, her 48th career World Cup victory.
Slovenia’s Tina Maze finished second, 41-hundredths of a second back. Nicole Hosp of Austria finished third, 58-hundredths behind.
Lindsey leads the 2012 season overall World Cup standings by 302 points over Maze. A victory would make for Lindsey’s fourth overall title in the past five seasons.
Beyond that is where the possibilities start getting truly tantalizing.
It’s not even the end of January. Lindsey now has 1,070 World Cup points.
No female racer has ever reached 2,000 for the season.
In 2006, Croatia’s Janica Kostelic got to 1,970. In 1997, Sweden’s Pernilla Wiberg reached 1,960.
On the men’s side, Austria’s Hermann Maier — the Herminator — reached exactly 2,000 points in the 2000 season.
It’s not unthinkable now that — if she stays healthy and if the weather holds — Lindsey could reach 2k.
It’s abundantly clear that Lindsey is racing this season with unquenchable ambition and desire.
Part of that is from last year — the way the 2011 season ended, when Lindsey came up three points shy of winning the overall World Cup title, denied in measure because of bad weather after making an incredible late charge. Her good friend and rival, Germany’s Maria Riesch, won the 2011 overall title.
Riesch — who got married over the summer and is now Hoefl-Riesch — is winless this season.
Meanwhile, and Lindsey has made this perfectly plain time and again, she absolutely loves to ski; her passion for ski racing has carried her through the rough patches these months in her personal life with the announcement of the divorce from her husband, Thomas. The two minutes or so of each race are time when all that can be left behind. It’s just her and her skis and the snow and the mountain, and nothing else matters.
There are two more races to go this weekend in St. Moritz — a downhill on Saturday and then another super-combined on Sunday, a make-up race from Val d’Isere in December.
Traditionally, Lindsey has done very well indeed in St. Moritz. The victory there Friday made for the sixth podium finish there in her career.
The downhill is Lindsey’s specialty; Nearly half, 23, of her career World Cup victories have come in the downhill and she is, of course, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion.
She is, moreover, the super-combined World Cup season event champion the past two seasons.
Intriguingly, Lindsey’s slalom — the second piece of the super-combined — seems to be picking up. She finished seventh this past Sunday at the World Cup slalom stop at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, and said Friday, after the super-combined in St. Moritz, “I am a lot more confident this year. My equipment is working really well. I feel just more sure of myself.
“A lot of times I don’t have enough training in slalom. I lack confidence. You can see it in my body language when I’m skiing. Today I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to be smart, use good tactics on the pitches and let it go on the flats. I feel solid. I think it’s getting better by day with my slalom results and definitely helping with my combined results as well.”