Lindsey Vonn charged to her 61st career Audi FIS Ski World Cup win Saturday in the Val d'Isere downhill. (Getty Images/AFP - Philippe Desmazes)
VAL D'ISERE, France (Dec. 20, 2014) - Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) positioned herself on the doorstep to history Saturday, winning her 61st career Audi FIS Ski World Cup with a .19 second victory in the Val d'Isere downhill. It left her just one win away from matching the all-time win record held by the legendary Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell. Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg and Austria's Elisabeth Goergl tied for second.
Lindsey Vonn not only takes the Val d'Isere downhill, but also win a baby cow, naming it Winnie. (Getty Images/AFP - Philippe Desmazes)
Starting 13th, Goergl set the pace to beat. Vonn came down 20th, skiing aggressively and making a few mistakes - but staying ahead of the Austrian the entire way down the Oreiller-Killy course. Rebensburg, coming down later, was the only one to challenge Vonn and settled for the second place tie.
It was only Vonn's fourth race back since a series of knee surgeries. She has won two of the three downhills she's skied, and moved out of a tie with Tina Maze to takeover the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill lead.
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was 15th with Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) 18th.
Universal Sports Network will air same-day coverage at 8:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Vonn will have her first crack at the record in Sunday's super G in Val d'Isere, before the speed women take a holiday break. The speed tour resumes Jan. 10-11 in Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria.
Vonn's 61st win put her into position to make history, just one away from Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proell.
It was her fifth career World Cup win in Val d'Isere - third downhill.
With two wins in three downhill races, Vonn vaulted into the sole Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill lead. It also bumped her into third in the overall as Maze continued to hold a dominating lead.
QUOTES Lindsey Vonn I’m so happy. It’s been such a nice progression back into the World Cup. It was a really wild ride today. I made some mistakes but I was skiing aggressively.
I added another great memory today - hopefully tomorrow will be another Christmas present. The record is getting closer. The less I talk about it, the faster I get there. Tomorrow I’m going to focus on skiing aggressively, being confident and pushing the line. It’s worked for me the last few races.