Vonn captures 3d World Cup

She passes Miller for career wins

Associated Press / March 13, 2010

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GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Olympic downhill gold medalist Lindsey Vonn capped an historic season with her third straight overall World Cup title yesterday.

On the men’s side, American Ted Ligety captured the men’s giant slalom title.

Vonn won the final super-G race of the season for her 33d World Cup win, eclipsing Bode Miller as the most decorated American skier.

“This was the dream season. To break the US record in World Cup wins and to get the Olympic gold in the downhill, my favorite discipline, and the overall title for the third time, for me it doesn’t get much better,’’ Vonn said. “When you work this hard and be rewarded like this at the end of the season feels so great.’’

Vonn became the first woman to win three straight overall titles since Petra Kronberger of Austria in 1990-92.

Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria leads with six.

“Someone just told me she had won six World Cups overall, and I think my jaw is still on the ground right now,’’ Vonn said.

Vonn won the race on the 2,180-meter long Kandahar course in 1 minute 19.30 seconds. Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was second in 1:19.46, and Nadia Styger of Switzerland took third.

Vonn was the last racer to go down the hill and could have opted not to race since she knew she’d clinched the title. She had a bruised right knee after falling in the giant slalom Thursday and is nursing a bruised shin and broken right little finger.

Vonn secured the title when rival and friend Maria Riesch of Germany dropped out of the top two. Riesch finished fourth, giving Vonn an unassailable lead of 215 points in the standings before the season’s last race, today’s slalom, which she said she will skip.

Vonn also picked up World Cup titles in the downhill, the super-G, and the combined events. Her 11 wins this season is an American record.

Ligety, the 2006 Olympic champion, already owned the title by the time he started the second heat — but wasn’t aware of it. “I would have gone harder had I known that, but I had a safe second run and was still pretty excited to get on the podium,’’ he said of his third-place finish.

Carlo Janka, 23, led after the first run and was able to produce a clean second run to win in a combined time of 2:20.87 for his sixth victory of the season, wrapping up the overall title.

Davide Simoncelli of Italy was second in 2:21.18 and Philipp Schoerghofer of Austria tied Ligety for third at 2:21.44.