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Vonn sweeps Lake Louise Winterstart

Robbie Dixon fourth at Beaver Creek



American skier Lindsey Vonn swept the podiums at Lake Louise Winterstart, while the Canadian women — mostly newcomers to the sport — were not a factor in any of three World Cup races.

For whatever reason, Vonn owns the women's downhill course at Lake Louise, but this is the first time that she's swept all three events — two women's downhill races and a super G. It's also the first time anyone has swept the series since German skier Katja Seizinger in 1997.

Vonn has now stepped on the podium at Lake Louise 17 times since she earned her first podium there in 2004. She now has 84 podiums to her credit in total.

Her win also came on the heels of an announcement that she was divorcing her husband Thomas Vonn after four years. It's unknown whether she will start racing under her maiden name Lindsey Kildow.

In the opening downhill she finished in 1:53.19, almost two seconds ahead of Liechtenstein's Tina Wierather in 1:55.14. Dominique Gisin of Switzerland was third in 1:55.25.

The two Canadians in the race, Tess Davies and Sarah Freeman, were 54th and 56th respectively. Both were making their World Cup debuts.

In the second downhill, Vonn finished in 1:51.35, well ahead of Marie Marchand-Arvier of France. Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was third in 1:53.26.

Davies and Freeman were 50th and 51st respectively.

In the super G the field was a little different with World Cup skier Marie-Michele Gagnon in the start gate. Although she's better known for her technical skiing, she earned some FIS points in 26th place after starting in 46th on the day.

"I'm excited," she said. "I'm in the points in super G — I couldn't ask for more. I know I can push it more and I was a little round in some places — probably most of the way — but I'm happy.

"It's the first speed race of the year. It's kind of like getting back on the speed skis... and feeling out the snow."

Sarah Elliiot, making her World Cup debut, was 39th on the day. Sarah Freeman was 54th and Whistler's Madison McLeish — making her start with the national team — placed 55th. Tess Davies was 56th.

Women's head coach Hugues Ansermoz knew it would be a tough weekend for the team.

"Marie-Michele did a really good job, having not been here for the downhill races," he said. "Sarah has no experience here, but she's a talent. That was great to see. "

McLeish also called it a first step: "This was the first step on the way to all of my goals. It's starting to feel like I'm ready to be here and I know I can do so much better than I did today, so I just can't wait until the next opportunity."

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