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Gut Wins WCup Downhill

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

    Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the start of a training run of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Thursday, Dec.13, 2012. Vonn failed to complete the run. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Taccai)

    Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the start of a training run of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Thursday, Dec.13, 2012. Vonn failed to complete the run. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Taccai)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

    Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates at the finish line after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut, winner of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, center, celebrates on the podium with second-placed Leanne Smith, of the United States, left, and third-placed compatriot Nadja Kamer, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut celebrates on the podium after winning a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the finish area after failing to complete a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
  • Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, is seen at the start of a training run of a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Thursday, Dec.13, 2012. Vonn failed to complete the run. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Taccai)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
  • Switzerland's Lara Gut speeds down the course to place first in a women's Alpine Ski World Cup downhill race, in Val d'Isere, France, Friday, Dec.14, 2012. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

Val D’Isere, France (ap) — Lara Gut of Switzerland made the most of good conditions to win her first World Cup downhill yesterday, while Lindsey Vonn’s bid for a fifth straight victory in speed events ended with a crash on a course she usually dominates.

Leanne Smith of the U.S. was 0.16 seconds behind in second place, and Switzerland’s Nadja Kamer was 0.50 back in third.

Smith was one of four Americans in the top 10 — with Julia Mancuso seventh, Alice McKennis eighth and Stacey Cook 10th.

“I’m beyond excited. This is something that you dream about that you put your heart and soul into,” Smith said. “Today was my day. I’m really happy with the outcome. I’ve been on the World Cup team for a few years now and starting to feel comfortable. Hopefully, you’ll see more of me now.”

Gut was the second to start and benefited from the best visibility on the Oreiller-Killy course that she considers a favorite. She finished in 1 minute, 19.75 seconds.

“It’s my first victory in downhill and it’s a pleasure. I’d been second in Val d’Isere before,” Gut said. “It feels good, and I feel like I’ve been skiing well since the start of the season. I already thought in St. Moritz (last weekend) that a podium was coming.”

Gut finished third behind Kamer and Vonn in a World Cup downhill at Val d’Isere two years ago, and she also won two silver medals in downhill and super-combined at the 2009 world championships in the Alpine resort.

“When you’ve done well somewhere you always think you can repeat it, that’s what makes the difference,” Gut said “It’s a shame the world championships won’t be here (next year).”

Gut climbed to fifth in the overall standings.

“I’m still young, I have a lot to learn,” Gut said. “I think I’m a long way from winning the overall. But I’ve already got five years of experience and I have to make the most of that.”

Vonn lost balance and veered to the left, landing heavily into the netting. After a few moments, the American got back up and managed to ski to the bottom unassisted, suggesting she was not seriously injured.

Vonn has won two downhills and two super-Gs this season.

Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia was 12th. But she extended her lead over Vonn, who was third overall, to 285 points.

Vonn had some cause for optimism because neither Maze nor Hoefl-Riesch, who finished 13th, made significant point gains. Hoefl-Riesch, who beat Vonn by three points to win the World Cup two seasons ago, has 463 points to Vonn’s 413.

Vonn didn’t train well this week, finishing 18th Wednesday and 48th Thursday. She will look to make amends in Saturday’s super-G.

“She will be back with a vengeance,” Smith said. “I know she will be coming out tomorrow fighting, and showing her best skiing again.”

Vonn did not stop for reporters when she got to the bottom of the course. Before climbing onto a bus, she replied “not feeling great” when asked by The Associated Press if she was OK.

The crash was even more surprising as it came in Vonn’s best event.

Before yesterday, she had finished in the top five in her last 27 World Cup downhill races, including 17 wins and 24 podiums. She missed the top five only once in 43 downhills since January 2007.

Vonn was aiming for her third straight World Cup downhill victory at Val d’Isere.

Svindal Wins Super-G

Val Gardena, Italy — Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal extended his recent dominance in speed races with a super-G victory yesterday, winning by a large margin despite a major mistake three gates from the finish.

The Norwegian clocked 1 minute, 36.95 seconds down the Saslong course under a light snowfall that made for flat light.

Italians Matteo Marsaglia and Werner Heel finished second and third, respectively, to the delight of the local fans in the Dolomite Range. Marsaglia was a distant 1.07 seconds behind and Heel was 1.12 back.

It was Svindal’s third win in five speed races this season. He finished second in the other two.

Svindal would have won by an even larger margin had he not nearly gone down with his legs in a split within sight of the finish line. But he recovered by the next-to-last gate and lost only 0.08 of his advantage from the final split time.

It was the 19th win of Svindal’s World Cup career, moving him past Lasse Kjus into second place among Norwegian skiers, trailing only Kjetil Andre Aamodt’s 21 victories.

Marsaglia won the previous super-G in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for his first career victory.

Heel won this race four years ago but hadn’t been on the podium in any event in three seasons.

Svindal’s Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud finished fourth, missing the podium by just 0.06 seconds. Jansrud and Svindal were 1-2 in downhill training Thursday and will be the favorites for Saturday’s downhill on the Saslong.

Svindal moved 132 points ahead of American rival Ted Ligety in the overall standings, as Ligety finished 25th.

on a course that doesn’t really suit him.

Svindal could widen his margin again in the downhill, since Ligety isn’t racing, while the American will be favored in Sunday’s giant slalom in nearby Alta Badia.

Svindal also leads the super-G standings.

With Bode Miller still out recovering from knee surgery, the top American finisher was Travis Ganong in 24th.