American Lindsey Vonn completed a hat-trick of Alpine Ski Women's World Cup triumphs at Lake Louise on Sunday, winning a Super-G to claim her 45th career victory and extend her points lead.
Vonn followed up back-to-back downhill victories on Friday and Saturday on the Canadian piste by completing the 1,973-meter, 36-turn course in 1min, 20.21 secs, defeating Anna Fenninger of Austria by .19 of a second.
"A hat-trick is a rare thing to do," Vonn said. "I felt like I skied better the previous days but a win is a win. I didn?t feel all that strong on top, but really attacked at the bottom and ended up having an amazing day."
Another American, Julia Mancuso, was third in 1:20.92.
In sunny and cold conditions on one of her favourite layouts, Vonn completed her second career hat-trick, the other coming two years ago in Haus, Austria. She won her 11th career race at Lake Louise, nine of those wins in downhills.
"I wanted to get off to a great start this season," Vonn said. "So far things are going really well. I'm extremely happy."
"I didn?t really expect this coming here. It was a tough week," Vonn said. "This is exactly what I needed. I couldn't be happier."
Vonn has smoothed over hard feelings with Austrian rival Maria Hoefl-Reich and leaned upon her family for support during a difficult time.
"At this time, having the support of Maria and having my sister Karin fly in for the weekend was really helpful," Vonn said. "Skiing is my best therapy. I love to ski fast. It is what puts a smile on my face."
Vonn leaped into the overall World Cup lead on Saturday and boosted her total to 422 points with Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg second on 286. Vonn, 27, also took the Super-G lead as it was the discipline's season opener.
Vonn's Super-G triumph was her fourth of the season, the first coming in a giant slalom in October at Soelden, Austria, that made her only the fifth woman to win all five Alpine ski disciplines in World Cup competition.
She then won Friday's Lake Louise downhill in 1:53.19, 1.95 seconds in front of runner-up Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein, and took Saturday's downhill in 1:51.35 with France's Marie Marchard-Arvier second in 1:53.03.
Vonn's hat-trick makes her the first woman to win 11 times at the same World Cup venue, surpassing the domination mark she matched Saturday that was set by Austrian Renate Goetschl, whose 10 triumphs came at Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Fenninger watched from the finish line as Vonn bumped her from the top spot.
"While Lindsey was behind in the steep section, for a moment I thought maybe I could beat her, but in the flats she is so strong and she is the best at the moment so she deserved to win," Fenninger said.
Source: AFP Global Edition