Road To The Olympic Games

Champion Vonn victorious in downhill final race

Overall champion Lindsey Vonn ended the women's World Cup downhill season in style by dominating the final race on Wednesday.
Lindsey Vonn shows the trophy of the women's World Cup downhill discipline title on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Schladming, Austria. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)

Lindsey Vonn ended the women's World Cup downhill season in style by dominating the final race on Wednesday.

The American overall champion, who had already won the downhill title, timed 1 minute, 46.56 seconds on the Streicher course to beat second-place Marion Rolland of France by 0.92 seconds. Tina Maze of Slovenia came 1.22 back in third.

It was Vonn's 53th career title and 12th win this season. Only Vreni Schneider of Switzerland won more races in one year — 14 in 1988-89.

"This definitely is my best season ever. It went well in all disciplines," Vonn said. "Twelve wins in one season, I can't believe it's true."

Vonn earned her 17th podium finish this season, which leaves her one short of the record shared by Liechtenstein's Hanni Wenzel in 1980 and Sweden's Pernilla Wiberg in 1997.

With a super-G and a GS race left, the American standout is also within reach of the 2,000-point record for one single season held by Austria's Hermann Maier.

"That's going to be another fight," said Vonn, who has 1,908 points. "I will try to get to these 2,000 points. It won't be easy on this [soft] snow. Hermann was a genius when he achieved it back in 2000."

Vonn put in a trademark downhill performance and charged throughout the race. Her advantage over then leader Rolland grew at every intermediate time.

The race took place in sunny conditions while mild temperatures and rain over the last couple days had softened the snow on the course, which will also be used for next year's world championships.

World champion Elisabeth Goergl started fast and led Rolland at the first section but lost time as she skied off course and finished 1.92 off the lead in eighth.

Last year's overall champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch never looked comfortable during her run and struggled to keep the race line. The German came 2.55 back in 13th.

Julia Mancuso, who was second in Tuesday's training run, was fast again at the upper part but lost pace near the finish to take sixth, while teammate Alice McKennis was the third American in the top seven.

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