Höfl-Riesch doubles down for second DH win in two days at Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Canada – The temperatures exceeded -40 degrees Celsius this morning in the heart of the Banff National Park. The snow guns remained shut down and hence there was no fog to disturb the programme. Temperatures rose as the morning went on to reach -19 at 12:30, the start time. Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch doesn't mind the cold and raced to an epic second World Cup downhill victory in as many days to overtake Switzerland's Lara Gut in the overall standings. Höfl-Riesch clocked a time of 1:55.09 seconds today, close to one second faster than yesterday. Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather was second, 0.34 seconds back, with Austria's Anna Fenninger in third, 0.47 seconds off the pace. On the podium yesterday, Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden and Elena Fanchini were not that far away today, finishing respectively 4th and 5th.
Maria Höfl-Riesch won her fifth career World Cup downhill in Lake Louise today. It's the second time she manages to win the two downhill races in a row after 2010. She was close to the hat trick that year, finishing 2nd of the super g race following the downhills.
"The slope was faster today but my run wasn't as clean as yesterday", said the German champion. "I lost a little bit of time in the middle section, but my performance today was still good enough for the win, so I am really satisfied."
"I am not as strong in super g than I am in downhill. The two victories will obviously give me a lot of confidence, going into tomorrow's super g race. I hope my coaches will find the best line and that I will be able to achieve it during the race."
Tina Weirather was disqualified yesterday for wearing a forearm protector over the race suit and not under, which is banned by the World Cup rules. The 24-year-old was eager to take revenge and to forget about yesterday's disappointment.
"After such a bad day yesterday, it feels really good to be on the podium", she confessed. "I had some anger in me and I took it into the course today and into my skiing. It worked well. A third podium so far this season is great."
Anna Fenninger got her 1st downhill podium in Lake Louise after ending close yesterday in fourth. "I thought the podium would happen for me yesterday but Marianne Abderhalden who started with bib 30 edged me out", said the young Austrian. "Today it's my turn to climb onto the podium and I am very pleased about it. My run was better today. My fish net turn was definitely better and it enabled me to carry more speed into the flat."
Lindsey Vonn made a big step in the standings today finishing 11th, 1.26 seconds behind, in comparison with yesterday's result.
“Today's performance is a great step forward,” she admitted. “I could be much more aggressive on the course. I still made a couple of mistakes but I'm really happy with the run I put together today. It gives me confidence for sure to bring into tomorrow's race.”
Maria Höfl-Riesch now leads the overall standings with 393 points, 47 more than Lara Gut, with Fenninger another 108 points back. Höfl-Riesch has 236 points in the downhill competition, 81 more than second-place Anna Fenninger.
A super g race is scheduled tomorrow for 11:00 LOC/19:00 CET.
Here are the full results of the day.