Gut clinches 18th World Cup ski victory in Italy

American speed queen Lindsey Vonn crashed out of the women's World Cup downhill on Friday, allowing Swiss victor Lara Gut to leapfrog her back into top spot of the overall standings.

Gut clinches 18th World Cup ski victory in Italy
Lara Gut: back on top. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

Vonn, seeking a 77th career win, has been involved in a cat-and-mouse battle with Gut for the crystal globe for this season's best all-round skier.
But it was not to be for the American in bright, freezing conditions in La Thuile, Vonn's battle to ride through a rough corner misfiring as a ski unclipped itself to send the 31-year-old cartwheeling, unhurt, down the slope.

Gut had previously timed one minute  35.57 seconds down the 2.5-kilometre-long Tre Franco Berthod piste, Austrian Cornelia Huetter taking second 1.02 seconds behind, just one-hundredth of a second faster than Italy's Nadia Fanchini in third.
Gut's victory, her 18th on the World Cup circuit and sixth this season, saw her nab 100 points that took her to a total of 1,073pts in the overall standings, 13 ahead of Vonn.

Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg stands third with 852.
Vonn, who remains atop the downhill standings ahead of second-placed Huetter with Gut in fourth, will have the opportunity to claw back some valuable points in her battle with Gut in Saturday's second downhill, with a super-G also scheduled for Sunday.

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Swiss skier Gut: ‘I’m not in a hurry, I want to come back strong’

Swiss alpine skiing star Lara Gut says she found balance and made peace with herself during the latest lengthy lay off in her injury-blighted career.

Swiss skier Gut: 'I'm not in a hurry, I want to come back strong'
Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP
The 26-year-old was the poster girl for the 2017 world championships, but she badly damaged knee ligaments in Saint-Moritz in February as her only reward was a bronze in the super-G.
“I learned the importance of being at peace with oneself during those six months,” she told a press conference on Tuesday after starting training in early September.
“It's always been my greatest challenge finding a balance between what I have to do and what is good for me,” said Gut, who missed the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver after a dislocated hip.
If fit, all rounder Gut would be a favourite to finally clinch a gold medal at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games in February.
“This winter I'll take more breaks and find more space for myself,” promised Gut, who admitted that she was unhappy before her latest injury.
“I did everything I could as an athlete, but not enough for me as a person.”
Gut though will skip the season-opening giant slalom on October 28th at Soelden, an event she won last year, delaying her return until late November when the World Cup heads to North America.
“Soelden is special. Normally I ski already in July. I'm not in a hurry, I want to come back strong,” said Gut, who will look to wrest back her title from Amercian sensation Mikaela Shiffrin.