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Lindsey Vonn earns 80th win; Jacqueline Wiles injured in crash

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Lindsey Vonn edged Sofia Goggia in a foretaste of the Pyeongchang Olympic downhill on Saturday, raising her career total to 80 World Cup victories.

The American standout beat Goggia by two-hundredths of a second as their ongoing rivalry in Alpine skiing's fastest discipline continued.

Vonn's joy was tempered, however, by a crash that ruled her teammate Jacqueline Wiles out of the Olympics with a knee injury that forced her to be transported off the hill by helicopter.

Wiles, who earned her second career podium after placing third in Cortina two weeks ago, was set to compete in her second Olympics.

Shortly after completing her run, Vonn saw on a large video screen how Wiles lost balance after skiing off the course, fell and went into the safety netting.

"It was really hard to actually be happy and excited and celebrate because Jackie is in the hospital," said Vonn about Wiles, who has been financially supported by Vonn's foundation.

Vonn skied a solid run but didn't seem to go to the limits as she trailed Italian rival Goggia by 0.08 at the last split time. However, Vonn overcame the deficit in the final section.

"I definitely skied aggressively, don't get me wrong, but I didn't leave all the cards on the table," Vonn said. "I hold those extra aces for the Olympics."

Vonn is just six World Cup wins short of the all-time record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.

"It's a big number," Vonn said of her 80 wins. "I remember when I got my 50th here, I never thought I would even get close to Annemarie Moser-Proell's record [of 62 wins], and now I am getting close to Stenmark's. It's incredible."

It was Vonn's second straight downhill win after Cortina, Italy, two weeks ago. She and Goggia are the only racers with more than one downhill victory this season.

Cornelia Huetter of Austria was 0.13 behind in third, and Vonn's teammate, Breezy Johnson, finished fourth for her career-best result.

Laurenne Ross, who is working her way back after a severe knee injury, also crashed hard Saturday, but she stood up and eventually skied down.

"It's a really rough day for the whole team," Vonn said. "I am happy that Laurenne wasn't hurt. She will be really sore tomorrow, but at least her knee is OK."

Another downhill on the Kandahar course is scheduled for Sunday, the last World Cup race before the Olympics, and Vonn was expecting another close duel with Goggia.

The Italian edged Vonn in both speed races that were held as test events on the Olympic hill in South Korea last year.

"She is always risking everything; she's the person that I have to beat," said Vonn, who is chasing another Olympic downhill medal to add to the gold she won in Vancouver 2010.

"She is a personality that is really needed on the World Cup. We are playing a little game with each other: Who has the hundredths, you know. It makes it more exciting for us and also for the spectators."

Said Goggia: "From the start gate to the red finish line, it's a battle. But after, we are friends. This is the rivalry that I like. It's really fun and challenging for me."