Vonn ninth as Siebenhofer takes World Cup ski double

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy) (AFP) –


American downhill star Lindsey Vonn could only manage ninth on Saturday in her second World Cup race since returning from a knee injury, as Austria's Ramona Siebenhofer made it two wins in as many days.

The 34-year-old American sped past the lively crowds in bright sunshine on the same Cortina d'Ampezzo piste, Olimpia delle Tofane, where she finished 15th in her comeback event on Friday.

Vonn was 1.36 sec behind Siebenhofer, the 27-year-old who chalked up just the second World Cup win of her career.

The American is battling injuries late in her career as she bids to add to her haul of 82 World Cup wins and overhaul all-time record holder Ingemar Stenmark.

To protect her battered body from the high speed falls that can claim lives on the fast, hard packed snow Vonn is wearing knee braces as well as an airbag under her ski suit.

"I do as much as I can do to protect my body. I've got a mouthguard, a helmet, air bag, back protector, knee braces. I think that's as much as really you can have without arm braces," she said at the start of the Cortina weekend.

Siebenhofer hit speeds of 130km/h to finish four hundredths of a second ahead of compatriot Nicole Schmidhofer, who retains the lead in the World Cup downhill standings.

Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia rounded out the placings, 0.51sec behind Siebenhofer.