Vonn amps up Olympic preparations with Cortina downhill win

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Vonn amps up Olympic preparations with Cortina downhill win
Vonn amps up Olympic preparations with Cortina downhill win

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) – Lindsey Vonn amped up her Olympic preparations by winning a World Cup downhill by a large margin on Saturday.

The American clocked 1 minute, 36.48 seconds on the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course for a 0.92-second advantage over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.

“It was good, clean skiing today. I didn’t make any big mistakes like yesterday,” said Vonn, who finished second in Friday’s downhill after an error midway down.

“And it was just really fun to race. It was a beautiful day – normal, perfect Cortina sunshine – and perfect conditions,” Vonn added. “So it made me really happy just to be out there on the mountain today.”

Vonn’s U.S. teammate Jacqueline Wiles finished third, 0.98 behind, for her second career podium result.

It was Vonn’s record 12th win in Cortina and 79th in her career, moving her within seven of Ingemar Stenmark’s record 86 World Cup victories.

“My focus right now is so much on the Olympics that I haven’t really thought about it that much this season,” Vonn said of Stenmark’s record. “After the Olympics, that will be my No. 1 priority again and I’ll try to rack up as many wins as possible before I retire.”

Sofia Goggia of Italy, the winner of the past two downhills, lost control landing a jump in the Tofana Schuss and made a quick recovery but did not finish.

Vonn clocked 129.8 kph (80 mph) in the schuss, an imposing and narrow chute between two huge rock outcrops on the top section of the course.

At 33, Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill, beating the previous mark established by Elisabeth Goergl, an Austrian who was 32 when she won in 2014.

Mikaela Shiffrin finished seventh and extended her lead in the overall World Cup standings ahead of Goggia to a massive 907 points.

Goggia still leads the downhill ranks, seven points ahead of Weirather and 13 ahead of Shiffrin.

Wiles was on course to finish second – trailing Vonn by just 0.30 seconds at the penultimate checkpoint – but then drifted too wide on a turn and lost a big chunk of time.

A super-G on Sunday rounds out the racing in Cortina before the circuit moves to nearby San Vigilio di Marebbe for a giant slalom on Tuesday. Then there are two more weekends of racing before the Pyeongchang Olympics begin Feb. 9.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

United States’ Lindsey Vonn gets to the finish area after completing an alpine ski, women’s World Cup downhill, in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
United States’ Lindsey Vonn rides a bicycle after winning an alpine ski, women’s World Cup downhill, in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
United States’ Lindsey Vonn, left, celebrates on the podium with third placed United States’ Jacqueline Wiles after winning an alpine ski, women’s World Cup downhill, in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
United States’ Lindsey Vonn, right, congratulates her teammate Jacqueline Wiles in the finish area of an alpine ski, women’s World Cup downhill, in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather skis to place second in an alpine skiing, women’s World Cup downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo, northern Italy, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
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