Maria Höfl-Riesch doesn't mind the cold in Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Canada – The temperature was even colder than yesterday this morning in the Lake Louise valley, reaching -35 degrees Celsius. The bright sunlight made the temperature rise to – 21 degrees at the start level and enabled the 66 speed ladies present today to train for the second time and optimise their lines for the upcoming races.
Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch, who placed second in yesterday's downhill training, paced the final training run with a time of 1:56.52 on the 42-gate course. Norway's Lotte Smiseth Sejersted took second, just 0.09 seconds off the pace, while Austria's Anne Fenninger finished third, 0.52 seconds slower.
“The freezing conditions aren't too bad for me”, said Höfl-Riesch. “As a matter of fact, cold and aggressive snow suits my skiing quite well. The level of concentration going down is so high that we don't have the time to get disturbed by the cold.”
“I've always had good feelings here and felt comfortable on this course. I really like the hill. I'm now looking forward to the three upcoming races.”
5th yesterday, Worl Cup leader Lara Gut finished 4th today. It is interesting to point out that Gut has never made the podium in any discipline at Lake Louise. Her best result there is fourth in the 2011 Super G, and her best downhill result there is eighth, also in 2011. She finished 22nd and 16th in last year's two downhills. The swiss racer is definitely considered this year as a serious podium contender after two good training runs, even though the hill is not among her favourites.
"I can't say that I really like the slope here", said the 22-year-old. "It is pretty flat. But we will be racing here in the next three days and as usual I will try to give my best and to ski fast."
Yesterday's training marked Lindsey Vonn's official return to the World Cup tour. She decided not to take part in the second training run today, but confirmed she will be racing tomorrow as her last Facebook post says: “Feels great to be back on the World Cup tour! After some good training at home in Vail and a solid downhill training run yesterday I've decided to take today as a "rest day" but I will be racing tomorrow. I can't wait for my first race!!!”
We are all excited about tomorrow's first downhill race at Lake Louise. Catch the action from 12:30 local time/20:30 CET
Here are the full results of the day.