Höfl-Riesch picks up 27th career win in Cortina
Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy – As expected, a layer of fresh snow was covering the race course early this morning. Slippers and snow cats were up on the hill already at four o'clock to get the track ready on time. The amount of work needed though forced the jury to delay the start by 30 minutes and to lower the start. The 52 racers could then enjoy a great downhill race. Big favourite after impressive performances in training, Maria Höfl-Riesch put a flawless run together to pick up her 27th career victory, clocking a time of 1:17.84. Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather took second, 0.31 seconds off the pace. The battle for third place was very tight. Austria's Nicole Schmidhofer, starting with bib number 39, managed to overtake Lara Gut by only one hundredth of a second after a brilliant run.
With her third downhill victory this season, Overall World Cup leader and downhill World Cup leader Maria Höfl-Riesch equals her personal best from 2010/11, when she won three ladies' World Cup downhill races.
"It was not an easy race," she commented. "I knew I had to attack a lot and push to the limit. That's what I did. There were some difficult turns where some girls had big problems. But for me it went fine and that's a big day."
"I am strong on this course. But mistakes can happen anytime to anyone. I always try to perform the best I can and when no mistake happen like today, it feels good but that is for sure not that easy to do."
Tina Weirather landed her 7th season podium and sits now in second position in the overall standings, 158 point behind the winner of the day.
“Cortina has always been a bit different for me,” said the 24-year-old. “I don't why but I always have been a little bit nervous and felt more pressure here than anywhere else. Therefore I am super happy I had two great races already this week and that there are still two to come.”
“I skied in my comfort zone today but very close to the limit. That's what makes you ski fast,” she concluded.
Super-G and giant slalom Junior World Champion in 2007, Nicole Schmidhofer made her second career podium after her first, exactly one year ago here in Cortina, finishing 2nd in the super-G race.
“I've had good feelings in the past days, I kind of knew I had improved. At the start I hoped for a good tail wind to help me go fast,” she mentioned laughing at the press conference.
I hope to get a good result in the next races and make it difficult my coaches to choose who will race at the Olympics. I really would like to be part of it.”
We are just only half way through the intense programme of the week. The ladies will get another chance to shine on the "Olympia delle Tofane" in the second downhill race scheduled for 10:15 CET
Here are the full results of the day.