Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden celebrated her first career victory in the Alpine skiing world cup when she won the women’s downhill on a glorious day in the French Alps resort of Val D’Isere.
Kaufmann-Abderhalden full advantage of the ideal conditions and a few crashes from the bigger names to wrack up her maiden win on the World Cup circuit.
A second-place finish in a downhill in Lake Louise, Canada earlier this month sounded the warning bells to her rivals.
And the 27-year old carried her momentum to France with a commanding performance to win in a time of 1 minute, 47.28 seconds.
Reigning overall world cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia was second and Austrian Cornelia Huetter third.
Lindsey Vonn ended the day in tears.
The four time overall and six time downhill World Cup champion suffered another setback in her bid to be fit in time to defend her title at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
She missed a gate midway through and was left grimacing after straining her surgically repaired right knee.
It turned out to be a worrying day for Vonn and her camp which, on Saturday, included boyfriend Tiger Woods who watched on from the finish area for the first time at a World Cup race.
It was a serious blow to her Olympic hopes but the second most successful skier in history with 59 wins remained optimistic about her chances of being competitive at Sochi in February.
She later told reporters : “I’m going to stick to a similar plan that I was on before. I just need to be more careful of how many races I do.
“I’m at risk of doing more damage to my knee and my meniscus. So I’m going to play it safe and race really minimal races. Probably one or two before the Olympics.”
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