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Lindsey Vonn dominates in Italy to win World Cup downhill race

Lindsey Vonn amped up her Olympic preparations by winning a World Cup downhill by a large margin on Saturday at Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy.

The American clocked 1 minute 36.48 seconds on the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course for a 0.92-second advantage over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.

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"It was good, clean skiing today. I didn't make any big mistakes like yesterday," said Vonn, who finished second in Friday's downhill after an error midway down.

"And it was just really fun to race. It was a beautiful day — normal, perfect Cortina sunshine — and perfect conditions," Vonn added. "So it made me really happy just to be out there on the mountain today."

Vonn's U.S. teammate Jacqueline Wiles finished third, 0.98 behind, for her second career podium result.

It was Vonn's record 12th win in Cortina and 79th in her career, moving her within seven of Ingemar Stenmark's record 86 World Cup victories.

"My focus right now is so much on the Olympics that I haven't really thought about it that much this season," Vonn said of Stenmark's record. "After the Olympics, that will be my No. 1 priority again and I'll try to rack up as many wins as possible before I retire."

Lindsey Vonn rejoices on the podium after winning a World Cup downhill race in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, on Saturday.
Lindsey Vonn rejoices on the podium after winning a World Cup downhill race in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, on Saturday. (Andrea Solero / EPA)

Sofia Goggia of Italy, the winner of the past two downhills, lost control landing a jump in the Tofana Schuss and made a quick recovery but did not finish.

Vonn clocked 129.8 kph (80 mph) in the schuss, an imposing and narrow chute between two huge rock outcrops on the top section of the course.

At 33, Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill, beating the previous mark established by Elisabeth Goergl, an Austrian who was 32 when she won in 2014.

Mikaela Shiffrin finished seventh and extended her lead in the overall World Cup standings ahead of Goggia to a massive 907 points.

Goggia still leads the downhill ranks, seven points ahead of Weirather and 13 ahead of Shiffrin.

Wiles was on course to finish second — trailing Vonn by just 0.30 seconds at the penultimate checkpoint — but then drifted too wide on a turn and lost a big chunk of time.

A super-G on Sunday rounds out the racing in Cortina before the circuit moves to nearby San Vigilio di Marebbe for a giant slalom on Tuesday. Then there are two more weekends of racing before the Pyeongchang Olympics begin Feb. 9.

In other international competitions:

— Thomas Dressen won the classic Hahnenkamm downhill for Germany's first World Cup victory in the discipline in 13 years. Starting 19th and taking advantage of a brief spell of sunshine on a cloudy day, Dressen sped down the 3.3-kilometer Streif course in 1 minute, 56.15 seconds to beat then-leader Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 0.20 seconds. Hannes Reichelt of Austria was 0.41 behind in third, and Aksel Lund Svindal trailed by 1.12 in eighth. The Norwegian won Saturday's super-G on the same hill. The German men's team had not won a downhill since Max Rauffer triumphed in Val Gardena, Italy, in December 2004.

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— Canada's Justin Kripps won his first overall World Cup title after placing third in the last two-man bobsled race of the season, while compatriot Kaillie Humphries claimed her fourth women's title on Saturday. Francesco Friedrich, pushed by Thorsten Margis, was fastest in both runs of the men's race for a combined time of 1 minute 38.97 seconds, beating compatriots Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber by 0.40 seconds for his second win of the season. Kripps, pushed by Alexander Kopacz, was third, 0.44 behind. Germany's Stephanie Schneider won the women's race, clocking a combined time of 1:41.35 with Annika Drazek's help to beat two-time Olympic champion Humphries by 0.29. Humphries, who was pushed by Phylicia George, finished with 1,631 points after eight races, 40 ahead of Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States, who was third in Koenigssee with Lauren Gibbs. Humphries also won in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

— Summer Britcher claimed her fourth luge World Cup victory on Saturday, adding her name to the list of potential medal winners at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The American trailed Natalie Geisenberger after the first run but Britcher was quickest in the second to beat the German by 0.033 seconds and win in a combined time of 1 minute, 35.266 seconds. It was Britcher's first win since December 2015. Germany's Julia Taubitz was third, 0.263 behind, ahead of teammate Tatjana Huefner. Britcher's U.S. teammate Erin Hamlin finished 0.490 seconds off the pace in ninth place.

— Daniel Andre Tande of Norway claimed his first big international title at the ski flying World Championships on Saturday. The 23-year-old Norwegian finished 13.3 points ahead of Poland's Kamil Stoch, the Four Hills champion, who had jumps of 230, 219 and 211.5 meters. Germany's Richard Freitag was third with jumps of 228, 225 and 190.5 for 627.6 points, ahead of Stefan Kraft of Austria and Andreas Stjernen of Norway. A team competition was scheduled for Sunday.

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