Riesch wins by the narrowest of margins from Vonn in Are.
Maria Riesch raised her arms in triumph as she came across the finish line; Riesch had seen the green light next to her name on the finish board and knew she was in first place. It has been three years since she last won a World Cup Super G and the relief and joy was there for all to see in her arms raised aloft. For Lindsey Vonn the smallest of margins of defeat also meant twenty more points in the race for the overall title. Best of friends but also the biggest of competitors and both HEAD racers!
The Super G, down the Olympia Course in Are, was very similar to the line set for the downhill the previous day. Going 16, Lindsey Vonn put in a commanding run: Smooth, tight on the gates and when possible in a low tuck. Vonn grabbed the lead from Niki Hosp by eight tenths of a second. Then she just had to wait for the remainder of the field to try and better her time.
Just as Maria Riesch was about to head out of the start, she was called back as Anja Paerson was sitting on the side of the course having hit her right knee on a gate and had pulled up. It was a safety call. Sometimes being pulled back from the brink of starting can effect a racer’s mind set but when Riesch fired out of the gate, there was no sign of this.
The green lights came on all the way down for Riesch: “My top section was good but I did not take the best line on the lower section,” Riesch mentioned after the race. There was little to choose between the two racers and after the World Championships, this was the battle that the World Cup needed. At the finish it was one hundredth that was all that separated the two. There was a wry smile on Vonn’s face but the joy was on Riesch’s face.
Both racers look to have overcome the ailments that affected their World Championship performances: the World Cup is roiling again!
1. Maria Riesch (GER) HEAD
2. Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
3. Julia Mancuso
9 Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
20 Margaret Altacher (AUT) HEAD
21 Lizz Goergl (AUT) HEAD
30 Marianne Abderhalden (SUI) HEAD