Ross Leads U.S. Women into Top 20
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 19, 2015) – Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) cracked the top 10 as Lindsey Vonn’s (Vail, CO) bid for a record-tying downhill victory hit a bump in the road Saturday.
Vonn, the current overall World Cup leader, was .13 faster than Switzerland’s Lara Gut at the first split time when she hit a bump midway down the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill course and briefly became airborne. She eventually landed and skied safely off the course for a DNF. That ended her bid for a record-extending 72nd World Cup win and record-tying 36th downhill victory.
Lindsey Vonn recovers to stay on her feet, but DNFs during Saturday's downhill race in Val d'Isere, France (NBC)
Gut moved to within two points of Vonn in the overall World Cup standings after winning for the second-straight day at Val d’Isere. Her countrywomen Fabienne Suter finished second, followed by Canadian Larisa Yurkiw in third. Ross led a solid showing by the U.S. women in 10th, followed by Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) in 12th, Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) in 16th and Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) in 17th.
Lauren Ross crosses the finish line for a 10th-place finish in Saturday's downhill (Getty-Michel-Cottin)
“I kept my speed going and tucked as much as I could and I’m happy with it giving how my body is feeling right now,” said Ross, who dislocated her shoulder in a finish line tumble in Thursday’s training run.
Wiles, the youngest member of the women’s speed team, scored her third career World Cup top-20 downhill result, and continues to gain confidence from her skiing and teammates in her third World Cup season.
“I’m really lucky to be with the group of girls that I’m with,” Wiles said “They’re all amazing skiers. I think we have the best speed ski team in the world right now. So for me to be a teammate of theirs and learn from everything little thing they do and keep growing and learning from them, I’m in a great position right now.”
Watch Laurenne Ross take 10th in the Val d'Isere World Cup.
Ross echoed the outstanding dynamics of the women’s speed team heading into the holiday break.
“We all had really good downhill runs yesterday,” Ross said. “We need to clean things up a little bit, but as a group we’re really pushing each other and excelling together and its cool to have that dynamic and push us in the right direction.”
A number of U.S. athletes are now heading home for the holidays, including Ross, who is excited to just get out and ski with family and friends before returning to Europe for downhill and super G events in St. Anton, Austria Jan. 7-10.
“I’m home in the U.S. for 10 days,” Ross said. “I’m pretty psyched to go back to some powder and do some free skiing … spend some time with family and friends and getting to relax a little bit.”
Alice McKennis took 12th in the downhill.
Meanwhile, Vonn will have little time to relax as she heads to Courchevel, France, Sunday for giant slalom and a shot at her 73rd World Cup Victory. Vonn will also race in St. Anton and try to matching Austrian Annemarie Moser-Prll‘s record of 36 World Cup downhill wins. Last season, Vonn broke Moser-Prll’s career wins record of 62. Vonn also has her sights are set on the men’s record of 86 World Cup wins held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.
- Laurenne Ross led four U.S. women into the top 20.
- Lindsey Vonn continues to lead the overall World Cup standings by two points over Switzerland’s Lara Gut.
- Lindsey Vonn and Lara Gut will race in Sunday’s World Cup giant slalom in Courchevel, France.
- 15th-career World Cup win for Lara Gut, her fifth in downhill, her second in downhill at Val d’Isere following the win Dec. 14, 2012.
- 10th-career top-10 World Cup finish for Laurenne Ross and her best finish of the season.
- Alice McKennis matches her 12th best career result, and her best result of the season.
- Jackie Wiles matches her second-best career result from Lake Louise earlier this season (Dec. 5).
Stacey Cook was 16th.
It was better than any of my runs have been. I had a few spots that I still could clean up a bit. But I kept my speed going and tucked as much as I could and I’m happy with it giving how my body is feeling right now.
We all had really good downhill runs yesterday. We need to clean things up a little bit, but as a group we’re really pushing each other and excelling together and its cool to have that dynamic and push us in the right direction.
I’m home in the U.S. for 10 days. I’m pretty psyched to go back to some powder and do some free skiing … spend some time with family and friends and getting to relax a little bit.
Jackie Wiles matched her second-best career result, taking 17th.
It felt good. I know I could have done more, so that part is a little disappointing. But I’m happy with a solid result and I’m to keep going from here and pushing forward.
As long as I stay confident, it will keep coming. As long as I take the confidence into each race, believing in myself and knowing that I can do it, I think I’ll have good aggressive solid skiing and from there I think the results will come.
I’m really lucky to be with the group of girls that I’m with. They’re all amazing skiers. I think we have the best speed ski team in the world right now. So for me to be a teammate of theirs and learn from everything little thing they do and keep growing and learning from them, I’m in a great position right now.
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