Vonn wins World Cup downhill

Dec 21, 2007 - 5:23 PM ST. ANTON AM ARLBERG, Austria (Ticker) -- Lindsey Vonn and the United States enjoyed a triumphant day at the women's World Cup.

Vonn overcame an early error Friday to win a World Cup downhill event.

It was the second downhill victory this season and the ninth overall career for Vonn, who finished two spots ahead of fellow American Julia Mancuso.

A St. Paul, Minnesota native, Vonn covered the Karl Schranz course in 1 minute, 32 seconds to edge Canadian runner-up Kelly Vanderbeek.

Vonn, formerly known as Lindsey Kildow before getting married in September, veered off the course in the first part of her run but recovered.

"I made such a crazy mistake at the start, there was no way I thought I could still win the race," Vonn said. "After that, I just went all out and tried to keep my cool."

A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Vanderbeek captured her second career podium finish, completing her run in 1:32.36 despite misjudging a jump and nearly getting thrown backwards.

"I am very comfortable on this course," Vanderbeek said. "I had amazing training coming into the race, and I really calmed down and told myself that all I had to do was ski."

Vanderbeek had not reached a World Cup podium since finishing third at a super G in 2006.

"I have to admit that I was very nervous before the race, I knew something could happen," she said. "Everybody knew something big could happen today, so I was very happy to deliver."

Mancuso, a Reno, Nevada native, finished third at 1:32.38 while Fraenzi Aufdenblatten of Switzerland and Austrian Maria Holaus rounded out the top five.

It marked the first time that two Americans finished on the podium since January 14, when Mancuso won and Vonn placed second at a super-combined.

Vonn has 330 downhill points and owns a comfortable 106-point lead over Canadian Britt Janyk, who finished eighth Friday, in the downhill standings.

Austrian Nicole Hosp finished sixth but remains atop the overall World Cup standings with 419 points, 36 ahead of Sweden's Anja Paerson and Austrian Marlies Schild. Vonn is fourth overall with 374 points.

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