Weirather fastest in World Cup downhill training; Vonn 5th
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) Skiing with less pressure after setting the all-time record for World Cup wins, Lindsey Vonn placed fifth in a downhill training run on Friday.
That was just fine for the American who will start as favorite on Saturday after winning three of five races in the glamor Alpine event this season.
''I definitely feel like there's no pressure,'' Vonn said after a practice run won by Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein. ''Everyone was just talking about the record, talking about the record.''
The 62-win mark set in 1980 by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell was tied and passed in quick order as Vonn won a downhill last Sunday and a super-G on Monday at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
Both of Vonn's specialist speed events are scheduled this weekend at St. Moritz in the last World Cup races before her hometown world championships open on Feb. 2 at Vail-Beaver Creek, Colorado.
''Now I feel really relaxed,'' she said. ''(On Saturday) I have a few mistakes that I can fix and definitely will ski more aggressively, so hopefully that will be enough.''
Even those mistakes left Vonn, who was fastest in practice on Thursday, just 0.79 seconds behind Weirather on the new Engiadina course most racers are seeing for the first time.
Anna Fenninger, the defending overall World Cup champion, was second, trailing by 0.11. Another Austrian, Elisabeth Goergl, was third, 0.44 behind Weirather.
The women's track has been designed with the 2017 worlds in mind.
''It's important this weekend to get a feeling for the course going forward to the 2017 world championships. So far it's going well,'' said Vonn, who won downhill and super-G races on the old, adjoining course.
''It's a little bit easier,'' she said of the new track tracing down a bare mountain above the tree line. ''It has more terrain in it but it's also not quite as steep in some sections. You can definitely make some dynamic turns, you have to be a good glider.
''Either way I like it, it's fun,'' said Vonn, who was smiling plenty.
Race organizers had problems hours after racers left the venue Friday when four course workers triggered a small avalanche near the start.
None of the volunteers were injured though one was taken to a hospital for further examination, said Martin Berthod of the organizing committee.
A planned ceremony Saturday morning to inaugurate the new women's start was canceled.