Lindsey Vonn to skip World Cup opener in Soelden, Austria
American plans to return from injury on home turf in Colorado
Still recovering from right knee surgery, Lindsey Vonn has decided to skip Saturday's season-opening race in Austria, preferring to return next month.
Vonn has been training on the glacier in Soelden for the last week and made her decision Wednesday. She'll return at the races in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
"While I physically feel great, I have decided to not race this weekend and instead will focus on returning in Beaver Creek," Vonn said. "I am confident the extra month of training will ultimately put me in the best position to have a successful season."
Vonn shredded her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a crash at the world championships in Schladming last February. The Olympic downhill champion and four-time overall World Cup winner hopes to be back in top form for the Sochi Olympics in February.
Vonn had originally targeted Beaver Creek for her return but then she said last month she was thinking of racing the giant slalom in Soelden after a solid training camp in Portillo, Chile, in August.
"By the end of the camp she was skiing super-G and GS like nothing really happened," U.S. women's head coach Alex Hoedlmoser told The Associated Press last week. Vonn won the giant slalom in Soelden two years ago although GS is far from her best event.
Vonn has won three career World Cup giant slaloms to go with her 29 in downhill, 20 in super-G, two in slalom and five in combined. She needs only three more wins to match Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell's record of 62 World Cup race victories.
The stop after Beaver Creek is Lake Louise, Alta., where Vonn has dominated, with a total of 14 career victories.