Vonn wins WC downhill for first victory in 5 weeks

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By ANDREW DAMPF, Associated Press

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Lindsey Vonn showed she's back in form Saturday, winning a World Cup downhill for her first victory in more than five weeks.

The four-time overall World Cup champion, who took three weeks off recently to regain her strength following an intestinal ailment, clocked 1 minute, 38.25 seconds down the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course.

Current overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia finished second, 0.43 seconds behind, and Vonn's American teammate Leanne Smith was third, 0.89 back.

"It was a great feeling today to come down and see No. 1 next to my name again was incredible," Vonn said. "It's been a hard couple of weeks trying to get my strength back and trying to get my confidence back."

In her first races back last weekend in St. Anton, Austria, Vonn finished sixth and fourth in a downhill and super-G, respectively.

Wearing a rainbow-colored race suit, Vonn made a slight error midway down and nearly touched her right hip to the snow. But she had the strength to regain her balance and keep charging.

"I finally feel like myself again," Vonn said. "I feel healthy, finally, and I'm able to ski the way I want to. It's good to be back on top."

It was Vonn's seventh win in Cortina and the 58th of her career, moving her within four of the record held by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell.

Vonn's last win was a super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 8.

It was the second podium of Smith's career, having finished second in a downhill in Val d'Isere, France, last month.

"She put down a great run," Vonn said. "It's fun to be on the podium with your teammates. ... Everyone is feeding off each other. We have a great energy about the team right now."

Racing continues in Cortina with a super-G on Sunday.

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