Lindsey Vonn can finally cross another item off her to-do list: she earned her first podium in 21 tries in Aspen, Colorado, taking second in Wednesday’s world cup downhill finale.
Vonn had never reached the podium in Aspen until Wednesday, when the three-time Olympian got down Ruthie’s Run with a time of 1:37.61. That was 0.66 slower than Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, who wrapped up the downhill crystal globe with her sixth downhill win of the season. It is Vonn’s 61st career world cup downhill and 130th total world cup podium.
With the win, Stuhec keeps alive her faint hope of overtaking Mikaela Shiffrin for the overall world cup title. She now has 1,245 points, 278 behind Shiffrin’s 1,523 with three races left in the season.
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic downhill champion and a two-time Olympic medalist, Vonn reached her fourth world cup podium since returning from a pair of injuries in January. It’s her third straight runner-up finish after taking second in both the downhill and super-G at the Olympic test event March 4-5 in Jeongseon, South Korea.
Italy’s Sofia Goggia finished third Wednesday, 1.03 behind Stuhec at 1:37.98. Both Stuhec and Goggia have enjoyed breakout seasons. With the normally dominant Vonn out the first half of the schedule, Stuhec earned seven wins and Goggia two. Each reached the podium 12 times after never placing in the top three prior to this season.
Laurenne Ross finished fifth for Team USA in 1:38.68, while Jackie Wiles was 14th at 1:14.10, Stacey Cook was 16th with a 1:40.27 and Alice Merryweather 19th in 1:41.22. Breezy Johnson did not finish.
Racing continues in Aspen Thursday with men’s and women’s super-G, followed by slalom on Saturday and giant slalom Sunday. A podium finish Saturday would secure the overall title for Shiffrin if she finishes at least two places ahead of Stuhec.