GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany | Lindsey Vonn left the finish area with plenty of complaints about the state of the Kandahar course and thinking she still had the fastest time in Thursday’s training for a World Cup downhill.
Officially, she didn’t, because late starter Romane Miradoli of France beat her by .20 seconds. But Miradoli, with the No. 38 bib, missed two gates. Since it was only a training run, her result will stand, although it meant little.
By the time Miradoli came down, Vonn had already left with her father Alan.
The training run was twice delayed to allow organizers to better prepare the course left in bad condition by mild weather and rain over the past week. A men’s giant slalom on the same hill had to be canceled on Sunday. Fresh snow overnight added to the problems.
“It was good to get a training run in, although it was on the limit of safety,” Vonn said. “But I am glad we got it in. I didn’t really ski that great, nothing special, more of high-speed inspection.”
Racers are required to have at least one training run before a downhill race, so they are now clear to race on Saturday, weather permitting.
Another training run is scheduled for Friday, but it is likely to be canceled to allow the organizers to prepare and preserve the course.
Rain is predicted for Friday but Vonn thought that could be a good thing if it allows organizers to smooth out the bumpy course.
“Maybe they can work some magic with the rain,” the American said. “The course is really bally, in some turns there is no surface underneath.”
Vonn has won four of five downhill races this season, while crashing out in one, and also leads the overall World Cup standings by 45 points over Lara Gut of Switzerland, who also missed a gate in training.
Vonn clocked 1 minute, 49.70 seconds for her run. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, winner of the last two giant slalom races, was third, with Breezy Johnson of the United States fourth. Johnson was another late starter but didn’t skip any gates.
“The course is soft, with room for improvement,” Rebensburg said. “The crew still has a lot to do.”
Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein, who won the race last year, was sixth in training, behind Corinne Suter of Switzerland.
“It’s very bumpy, somewhere it’s hard, somewhere it’s soft,” Weirather said. “It’s a miracle that we were able to come down today.”