Hoefl-Riesch and Reichelt top last Downhill training in Lenzerheide
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – It’s the last day before showdown at the Finals and both the ladies and the men got a chance to test the Downhill race slope before the races on Wednesday.
The first ones down the turny, bumpy slope were the top 25 Downhill guys – and Team Austria seemed to be on fire. Hannes Reichelt set the pace of the day, finishing his run in 1 minute, 30.74 seconds. His teammates Matthias Mayer and Max Franz followed in second and third place, finishing 0.71 and 0.96 seconds behind respectively.
Mayer, who started third, was in the lead all the way until Reichelt took over with bib number 18. The 1990 born Austrian was not disappointed with finishing second in the training.
“It was a good run for me today,” Mayer said. “It feels more like a Super G than a Downhill so you have to push hard and attack every gate. There is no room for mistakes as the slope is so short so even the smallest mistake pushes you far back. I tried to ski today as I want to do on race day, I tried to go as fast as I could and now I am excited about the race tomorrow because I have a good feeling.
Minutes after the men’s training was wrapped up, everything was already set up for the ladies’ training. On almost exactly the same slope, where the only difference is the addition of a double gate before a jump in the middle-upper section of the course Maria Hoefel-Riesch was the one to beat. The German clocked a time of 1 minute, 34.20 seconds, followed tightly by Tina Weirather who finished second, 0.18 seconds behind and Anna Fenninger who finished third, 0.28 seconds behind.
“I obviously didn’t ski too bad as I was the fastest,” Hoefl-Riesch said about her run. “But it’s a really difficult slope and no one feels really good on it. If visibility won’t be good tomorrow we are sure in for a really difficult race.”
Tina Maze, who is currently second in the discipline standings sitting one point behind injured Lindsey Vonn finished fourth today. In theory, Hoefl-Riesch could still win the Downhill title as she is currently 68 points behind Vonn and 87 points behind Maze, but she considers the possibility not too realistic.
“For sure anything is possible,” Hoefl-Riesch said. “But I would have to finish second with Tina not scoring any points. For now I am thinking of how to ski fast and we take it from there.”