Fog allows Lindsey Vonn to hang onto World Cup downhill title
Tina Maze denied chance to overtake American; Aksel Lund Svindal wins men's title
Lindsey Vonn won her sixth straight World Cup downhill title after thick fog forced the final race to be cancelled Wednesday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Five weeks after her season was ended by a serious knee injury, Vonn retained her title by beating Tina Maze of Slovenia by one point.
"Omg I won the World Cup Downhill title!!!!! 6 in a row with a bum knee!" Vonn wrote on her Facebook page, recalling her huge disappointment exactly two years ago.
Fog hung on the lower slopes all day and earlier forced the men's downhill to be cancelled.
Maze has dominated the season but lost a historic chance at sweeping the World Cup titles. Maze needed only finish in the top 14 to win the title.
In a strange twist, Vonn was denied a fourth straight overall title in 2011 by the weather in Lenzerheide.
Her lone trophy from arguably her most difficult season is a World Cup record 17th crystal globe, overtaking Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell.
"Everything in life comes back around. (hashtag)believe (hashtag)karma (hashtag)onelegvictorydance," wrote Vonn, whose title streak is a downhill record in 47 seasons of men's and women's World Cup racing.
Maze echoed that message in a Twitter post to Vonn conceding defeat.
"I guess the DH globe belongs to someone else, Congratulation Lindsey! What goes around comes around!" wrote Maze, who already won her first overall title with a record point total.
The 28-year-old Vonn has won four overall titles and 13 in individual disciplines.
Vonn has been rehabilitating her injured right knee in the United States. She tore her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and broke a bone in her lower leg when her right ski stuck in softer snow on landing a jump.
Vonn's injury stalled the pursuit of Moser-Proell's record of 62 career World Cup race wins.
She reached 59 this season and, injury-free, could reasonably have expected to be within reach of the all-time mark this week.
Svindal takes men's title
On the men's side, Aksel Lund Svindal won his first season-long World Cup downhill title, also without racing.
Fog forced the cancellation of the final race of the season, allowing the tall Norwegian to maintain his 58-point lead over 2012 champion Klaus Kroell of Austria.
However, the cancelled men's race prevented Svindal from scoring points to close the gap on overall leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who skips downhill races.
"There was some kind of chance but that chance has gone now," Svindal told broadcaster Eurosport. "For me, it's a good season no matter what.
"I'm of course happy to have clinched my first downhill globe but also sorry to have lost a great chance to score big points for the overall title."
Svindal, who won overall titles in 2007 and '09, trails by 149 with Hirscher's specialist technical events scheduled at the weekend with sunshine forecast.
"Marcel Hirscher fully deserves his second big cup, he has achieved an amazing season," Svindal said. "I am also very pleased with my own winter."
Hirscher is expected to make a rare super-G start on Thursday, if the weather allows. He locked up the slalom points race, which ends Sunday. Hirscher and Svindal both race giant slalom, which is scheduled for Saturday.
The 30-year-old Svindal has already won the season title in super-G.
He has emerged as a standout speed racer, adding the World Cup crystal globe to his gold medal in the Alpine glamor event at last month's world championships in Schladming, Austria.
Svindal broke a 13-year streak of downhill titles shared by the powerful Austrian team and Swiss favourite Didier Cuche.
The title last went outside the Alpine neighbours' hands in 1999 when another Norwegian, Lasse Kjus, won.