CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) – Lindsey Vonn made it a perfect five wins in five World Cup downhills this season with another decisive victory Saturday.
The American also tied Janica Kostelic with her 30th career victory, good for eighth place on the all-time list and nearly halfway to Austrian leader Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 62 career wins.
Following her super-G victory Friday, Vonn sped down the Olympia delle Tofane course in 1 minute, 37.70 seconds. Maria Riesch of Germany finished second, 0.42 seconds behind, with Sweden’s Anja Paerson and Swiss racer Nadja Kamer tied for third, 0.86 seconds back.
Before the Vancouver Olympics open Feb. 12, only one more stop remains on the women’s calendar – in St. Moritz, Switzerland next week.
Vonn was the last top-ranked skier to start and was slightly slower than Riesch through the first two checkpoints, but the Minnesota native skied the bottom section of the twisting layout nearly half a second faster than her German rival and good friend.
Vonn started celebrating even before she came to a stop and has eight wins overall this season, putting her within one victory of her personal mark of nine race wins a year ago.
Vonn increased her lead over Riesch in the overall point standings to 1,094-1,018. In downhill, Vonn has a perfect 500 points, with Riesch in second with 316 points.
For the fourth consecutive day, conditions were perfect with clear skies, abundant sunshine and cold, hard snow.
Cortina is considered the most prestigious downhill on the women’s circuit and Vonn also won the race two years ago. Last year there was an upset victory by Swiss racer Dominique Gisin, who is out with an injury.
Vonn has three victories overall in Cortina, where recently retired Austrian speed specialist Renate Goetschl holds the record with 10 wins.
Another American, Julia Mancuso, matched Vonn through the first checkpoint and was on course for her first podium finish in nearly two years through the final interval before losing nearly half a second on the bottom.
The weekend racing concludes with a giant slalom Sunday.