Lindsey Vonn notched up her 61st World Cup win with success in the women’s downhill at Val d’Isere on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The four-time overall World Cup champion claimed her latest race by clocking a time of 1min 44.47 sec to edge Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg and Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl, who shared second at 19 hundredths of a second behind the American.
This was 30-year-old Vonn’s second downhill win of the season after this month’s win in Lake Louise, her first victory since a high speed crash in early 2013.
It put the girlfriend of 14-time golf major champion Tiger Woods just one win behind the all-time World Cup record of 62 held by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell.
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“It’s incredible, I was a little nervous today because I’d been making some mistakes in training,” said the American.
“It’s hard when there’s only one training run. I skied in an aggressive manner, even if I made a mistake I kept fighting and it paid off.”
She added: “I knew that I could win here. It was for others to realise that I’m back to where I was.
“It’s special for me and my team. After two difficult years I’ve waited for this for a long time and I’m just really happy.”
The third downhill of the season was not so kind on Slovenia skier Tina Maze, who leads the overall World Cup standings but who had to settle for fourth.
It was at this corresponding French leg of the World Cup calendar 12 months ago that downhill queen Vonn’s bid to compete in the Sochi Olympics were dashed.
A fall exacerbated the anterior cruciate ligament right knee injury she suffered at the 2013 world championships.
Her road back from reconstructive surgery last season was dogged by setbacks but with this latest triumph her injury woes appear to finally be behind her.
Finishing in a lowly 11th place behind Vonn at Val d’Isere meanwhile was the defending overall World Cup champion Anna Fenninger of Austria.