At World Cup, Riesch beats Lindsey Vonn at her own game

German skier Maria Riesch beat Lindsey Vonn in the World Cup downhill event Wednesday, though the American is still on track to win her 33rd World Cup title, beating Bode Miller's 32-title record.

Armando Trovati/AP
US skier Lindsey Vonn, right, is flanked by Germany’s Maria Riesch as she holds up the trophy of the Women's World Cup downhill discipline title, in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday. Riesch won the event as Vonn clinched the Women's World Cup downhill title.

Germany’s Maria Riesch continues to edge out US skier Lindsey Vonn for women's skiing supremacy, first at the Vancouver Olympics and now at the World Cup.

Riesch won two gold medals last month at the 2010 Olympics to Vonn's single gold. And today Riesch beat Vonn in her favored event.

Riesch excels in the slower, technical events (slalom and giant slalom) whereas Vonn finds her stride in the faster speed events (downhill and super-G, in which she won gold and bronze medals at Vancouver).

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But now, Riesch is beating Vonn the downhill, too. Riesch may not just be the world’s best all-around skier: her win today hints she may soon be the world’s best skier. In every event.

Riesch tore down the hill Wednesday at the World Cup in Germany to finish nearly half a second in front of Vonn in the downhill.

"If Lindsey is half a second behind, I must have had a really good race," Riesch told the Associated Press.

The overall World Cup title is still Vonn’s to lose, as she’s up 225 points over Riesch. If she takes the title she’ll become the American with the most World Cups. On Saturday she won her third straight World Cup downhill title to tie at 32 total with Bode Miller, who is currently out nursing a sore ankle.

"There's no way I can make up more than 200 points," Riesch told Reuters. "I would have loved to win the overall World Cup and I've fought hard all season."

The friendly rivals are both 25 years old, born within a month of each other. They reportedly spent Christmas holidays together at the German’s home in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, site of the current World Cup.

The next race is Thursday's giant slalom, a technical event that favors Riesch over Vonn.

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