U.S. skier Vonn remains dominant in France
Lindsey Vonn proved once again that she loves to ski in the Frances's Rhône-Alpes.
Lindsey Vonn captured her second straight World Cup race Sunday in Val d'Isere, seizing the overall standings lead with a victory in the super-combined.
The American turned in a dominant super-G and an assured slalom to earn the win a day after taking the downhill.
"I was really happy with this weekend, it couldn't have gone any better," said Vonn, who leads Maria Riesch by three points in the overall standings. "I just haven't trained very much slalom since the races in Aspen, so I felt confident but I wasn't exactly sure how it would go. I was definitely very nervous at the start."
The defending three-time overall World Cup champion had the fastest super-G and then logged the seventh fastest slalom Sunday to win in a combined time of 2 minutes, 7.80 seconds. Elisabeth Goergl finished second 0.46 behind and Austrian teammate Nicole Hosp was 0.69 back in third.
Another Austrian, Anna Fenninger, finished fourth, and Riesch was fifth — showing some form after a dismal 24th place in Saturday's downhill.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., finished 12th.
Vonn's second straight victory came a day after she was honored as the 2010 Female Athlete of the Year as chosen by members of The Associated Press.
"I was a little bit more cautious on the top part of the course, but as soon as I got on the flats then I really tried to push the limits and go faster," Vonn said. "I was happy with my slalom, I think it was a solid run."
Vonn has a remarkable record at Val d'Isere, whatever the slope or discipline.
She won World Cup downhill races here in 2005 and '06, along with a downhill and super-G world championship double and a World Cup super-combi last year when it featured a downhill section.
This was her fourth World Cup super-combi career win, with the other two coming at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria — also last year — and another one in Austria at St. Anton am Arlberg in 2007.
In her super-G run, Vonn trailed Daniela Merighetti by .27 seconds at the first time split and .45 on the second, but powered through the bottom section to finish in 1:18.66 to lead the Italian by 0.20 seconds.
Hosp was third fastest in super-G and started .30 behind Vonn in slalom.
Italy's Johanna Schnarf was fourth fastest, and Margret Altacher of Austria was fifth quickest in super-G.
Riesch, of Germany, could only manage 16th place but posted the fourth fastest slalom in 48.77 to push her way into contention.
In overcast morning conditions, many skiers struggled to get a grip on a fluffy and bumpy top section in the super-G.
Vonn, who had a near miss on a turn Saturday, almost lost control again on one of Sunday's tricky first gates, but corrected her skies to regain control.
Anja Paerson of Sweden, the former super-G world champion, lost an outside ski and did not finish. Swiss teenager Lara Gut, third in Saturday's downhill behind Nadja Kamer and Vonn, could not get any speed in the soft conditions and finished the super-G in 17th place and dropped down a place to 18th after the slalom.