Megan McJames was the top U.S. finisher Monday in 25th. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)
LIENZ, Austria (Dec. 28, 2016) – Megan McJames (Park City, UT) led the U.S. in giant slalom, finishing 25th Monday. Meanwhile, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) DNFed first run and losing more ground on the overall World Cup to Switzerland's Lara Gut.
“I just don’t quite have the timing right now. I haven’t skied here since 2011 and I feel like when I’m a little unsure of myself I tend to do things that I don’t normally do," commented Vonn after skiing too straight and not finishing the first run. "I’m pushing the limits—of course I’m trying to win. Mistakes happen. Hopefully I can get some more training in the next couple weeks and get the consistency back."
Gut won the race, extending her overall World Cup lead over Vonn to 158 points. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirrather was second, followed by Germany’s Rebensburg in third. Eva-Marie Brem of Austria finished fourth, surrendering her World Cup giant slalom lead to Gut by 8 points.
McJames snuck into the second run after tying for 30th in the first run. Monday’s finish was her first top-30 result of the season, and the 11th top-30 World Cup giant slalom result of her career.
“Obviously I’m happy,” said McJames, who last competed in a second run of World Cup giant slalom more than a year ago at Soelden. “I’ve been working on my skiing to try and get it more consistent in the races - because I have that fast gear, I just need to do it more often.”
Megan McJames skis to 25th in Lienz.
After posting the top time in the first run, Slovenia’s Ana Drev was well on her way to winning her first career World Cup giant slalom, but slid out in sight of the finish, becoming one of five racers not to finish the second run.
Meanwhile, Gut is Vonn’s strongest competition for the overall title, and has proven almost unstoppable this season with four World Cup victories, including giant slalom and combined victories last week in Courchevel.
“I’ve been training a lot of giant slalom,” Gut said, when asked of her newfound success in the tech events. “I changed skis this year, and that has certainly helped. Also, when you start winning, it’s easier to be comfortable on the snow.”
Next up, the women race slalom Tuesday in Lienz with Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) representing the USA.
Megan McJames was the top U.S. finisher in 25th in Monday’s giant slalom.
Lindsey Vonn did not finish the first run.
Switzerland’s Lara Gut won her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup race of the season.
Gut leads the overall World Cup Standings by 158 points over Vonn.
With Monday’s victory, Gut also leads the overall World Cup giant slalom standings.
Megan McJames Obviously I’m happy. I’ve been working on my skiing to try and get it more consistent in the races - because I have that fast gear, I just need to do it more often. I’m training hard and I’ll just keep plugging away.
I really like competing at Lienz. You don’t want to say anything to jinx it, but this hill always brings me back.
Lindsey Vonn I need a little training. It’s hard this time of year to manage your energy and still be able to train enough and be competitive. I feel like I have really good speed right now in GS, but I’m just not 100 percent consistent. I think it comes out especially when there’s terrain changes—I’m just not on par.
I have a cold right now. I went a little too straight—straighter than I should have—and didn’t have the energy to pull it off.
I feel good; I just don’t quite have the timing right now. I haven’t skied here since 2011 and I feel like when I’m a little unsure of myself I tend to do things that I don’t normally do. I’m pushing the limits—of course I’m trying to win. Mistakes happen. Hopefully I can get some more training in the next couple weeks and get the consistency back. But I think it’s also getting the energy back. I was sore after Courchevel and took some days off, and was sick the last couple days. It’s like whack-a-mole—one problem after the next.