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Lindsey Vonn reignites Olympic hopes with 79th World Cup win

She has been overshadowed by young teammate Mikaela Shiffrin in recent weeks but US veteran Lindsey Vonn hit back wit...

Posted: Jan 21, 2018 2:38 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2018 2:38 PM

She has been overshadowed by young teammate Mikaela Shiffrin in recent weeks but US veteran Lindsey Vonn hit back with victory in Italy Saturday to reignite her Olympic hopes and move to within seven of the record of World Cup wins.

The 33-year-old triumphed in the downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo to take her tally to 79 World Cup victories, the most of any woman and second only to the 86 of Swedish slalom legend Ingemar Stenmark.

Lindsey Vonn wins downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Took tally to 79 World Cup wins

Only seven behind all-time mark of Ingemar Stenmark

The American clocked one minute 36.48 seconds to beat Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather for her 40th World Cup downhill win, with another young American Jacqueline Wiles in third for her second career podium spot.

It was Vonn's 12th victory on the famous Tofane course in picturesque Cortina.

"My focus right now is so much on the Olympics that I haven't really thought about it that much this season," Vonn said of Stenmark's record.

"After the Olympics, that will be my No. 1 priority again and I'll try to rack up as many wins as possible before I retire."

READ: German scores surprise win in legendary Kitzbuhel downhill

Vonn has had a mixed season despite winning a super-G in Val d'Isere, France in December. She came in following an injury-disrupted 2017 after breaking her arm and is still skiing with a brace on her right knee to aid a long-term problem.

Shiffrin shines

While Vonn has struggled, US starlet Shiffrin has become the preeminent skier on the world stage.

The 22-year-old slalom specialist has won 10 times this season, including five in a row since January 1, to edge to 41 World Cup victories overall.

READ: Why Christmas was canceled for Shiffrin

But Vonn's first downhill win since January 2017 has rekindled her hopes of regaining the Olympic title she won in Vancouver in 2010. She missed the Sochi Winter Olympics with a knee issue.

Victory in Cortina meant she became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill, surpassing Elisabeth Goergl, although the Austrian is still the oldest female winner of any World Cup race after taking a super-G in 2014 at 33 days, 301 days.

Vonn also became the first skier, male or female, to win a World Cup race in 15 consecutive seasons.

READ: From plastic slopes to Olympic medal hopes

Vonn and Shiffrin came second and third in another downhill in Cortina Friday, behind Italy's Sofia Goggia.

It was only Shiffrin's third ever downhill podium after she placed third in Lake Louise in December and clinched her maiden win the next day on the same course in her fourth ever World Cup downhill race.

Visit CNN.com/skiing for more news, features and videos

The Olympic slalom champion and three-time World Championships winner finished seventh Saturday to lead the World Cup overall standings by 907 points from Goggia, winner of the previous two downhills.

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A cold front moved through last night, giving us thunderstorms but left us with a significant cool down from the heat we've had the past couple of weeks. Today we saw a few light showers and temperatures in the low 80s for our high. Tonight should be cool as well with lows in the lower 60s and calm winds. Dry and sunny conditions continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal. Highs look to stay in the 80s until midweek and the humidity will be moderate, feeling a lot more comfortable than last week. Scattered showers and storms will continue off and on mainly through the morning and afternoon hours on Saturday. Temperatures will be much cooler on Saturday with highs in the mid 80s. Dry and sunny conditions will take over on Sunday and continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal.
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