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Vonn favored to win women's overall title again

Vonn favored to win women's overall title again

While Lindsey Vonn is heavily favored to win a second straight overall World Cup title, it couldn't be much more exciting among the men with just eight points separating the top three going into the season finals this week.
Vonn leads Maria Riesch by 369 points with four races remaining _ and 400 points at stake. The first race is the downhill on Wednesday.
She needs to finish sixth or better _ or _ ahead of the German to become the first woman in U.S. history to capture two World Cup overall titles.
"I love racing in Are," Vonn said. "I was able to take a couple of medals home from here in 2007 at the World Championships and I'm looking forward to taking a couple of World Cup titles home this time. It's a great area and a really comfortable place to end the season."
Two years ago, Vonn left Are with two silver medals in the downhill and super-G at the World Championships. In last month's worlds, she upgraded them with two gold medals in the same disciplines.
Tamara McKinney was the only previous American woman to take the overall, in 1983. Vonn has surpassed McKinney's World Cup win total and now holds the new women's U.S. record with 20.
Vonn has already clinched the downhill title for the second straight year, matching hero and friend Picabo Street's consecutive titles in 1995 and '96.
Vonn also has a chance to win the super-G title, trailing Fabienne Suter of Switzerland by only 15 points. The last super-G is Thursday.
Riesch, the world champion, clinched the slalom title Saturday on home snow in Germany.
In the women's giant slalom, Kathrin Zettel of Austria leads Tanja Poutiainen of Finland by 41 points. No other skier can win the discipline title.
On the men's side, Ivica Kostelic of Croatia and 2006 overall champion Benjamin Raich of Austria are tied for the lead with 837 points each.
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, the 2007 overall champion, is only eight points behind in third place. Four other racers are less than 200 points behind the co-leaders.
The other discipline titles will also be decided at Are, Scandinavia's biggest ski resort.
Michael Walchhofer, seeking his third downhill title since 2005, leads fellow Austrian Klaus Kroell by 75 points in the those standings.
In the super-G, veteran Hermann Maier has a 19-point lead over Svindal. Five others also have a theoretical chance to take home the crystal globe that goes to the winner of each discipline.
Didier Cuche of Switzerland tops the giant slalom standings 52 points ahead of Raich. Ted Ligety of the United States, the defending GS champion, is 73 points behind.
In the slalom, Jean-Baptiste Grange of France holds a 49-point lead over Kostelic. Manfred Pranger of Austria is third, 92 points back.
The women's downhill training was canceled Tuesday, and only 14 skiers completed the men's training before fog covered the course.
The remaining men's starters will head back to the course early Wednesday followed by the women's downhill later in the morning and the men's downhill early afternoon.
Marco Sullivan, the only U.S. starter in the men's downhill, liked the course.
"The snow was absolutely perfect," he said. "It's fast, grippy and the course is running great. It's really aggressive at the top, there's some good jumps and some super high speed turns.
"It's a fun hill. It's pretty similar to the course we had at the 2007 World Championships here, but it's just a little straighter at the top."
The top 25 skiers in each discipline qualified for the finals.
There are no races in the super combined, won by Carlo Janka of Switzerland and Anja Paerson of Sweden this season.
Bode Miller, the defending men's overall champion, sat out the last three weekends in Europe and will also miss the finals. The American has not won a race this season has yet to decide on retirement.


Updated : 2021-07-29 21:32 GMT+08:00