Maze wins first downhill in Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Canada – Slovenia's Tina Maze, who was fastest in the second training run and skipped the third and final training, carried her pace into the first downhill race of the week. Maze posted a winning time of 1:50.98 to edge out Anna Fenninger at the top of the timesheets. The Austrian was 0.45 seconds off the pace, while Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather rounded out the podium, 0.51 seconds out.
Conditions were not as clear and sunny as for the training days. The 58 racers skied in very light snowfalls which wasn't a disturbing factor.
Downhill Olympic champion Tina Maze picked up her 4th career downhill World Cup victory. It is her best result in Lake Louise.
“I think the course is great,” commented Maze. “I figured out how to ski already in the first two days, that's why I didn't take part in the final training run. I was pretty much nervous today about how it would go, but it went ok so it's perfect.”
“The approach is the most important thing when you come from slalom to downhill. It is really hard to find this patience that you need in downhill, so that was the hardest part.”
“I feel great, great, great. I am very excited about my skiing now and will try to enjoy the season.”
Today's result was also the personal best for Anna Fenninger in downhill at Lake Louise.
“I am pretty happy, because I didn't really know what I could be able to achieve this year, because of the straighter course set”, said the 25-year-old. “It was difficult for me to get speed in the first two training runs, but it worked today.”
“I have confidence now and I will try to make a step further to the top tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have another good day.”
Tina Weirather landed her 4th podium here in Lake Louise and seems to be back at her best level after the injury she picked up in Sochi.
“I am of course happy and excited about this third place,” she said to reporters. “Every year it is a little different here. It is a quite flat hill, so you really have to be clean, avoid to make mistakes, be perfectly on the line and push hard but not too much. So it is a tough one. It is a lot of about watching videos and improving from day to day.”
As part of a strong showing by the American team that placed four racers in the top 10, Lindsey Vonn finished in 8th position, 0.85 seconds off the pace.
“I think I skied really well,” Vonn said. “It was a really solid day. I just kind of caught my edge coming off Gun Barrel which I think killed my speed a little bit, going onto the flats.”
“I tried to push myself harder today than I have in the training runs. There is definitely progress, but there is still a lot of improvement that can be had here. I am really excited for tomorrow, another chance to ski fast. I am only 4 tenth away form second place today, so I think it is possible to get on the podium. I just have to make sure I am clean going onto the flats and execute the pitch like I did today. A top 5 is a realistic goal and if I ski well why not a top 3.”
The second downhill is scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 (local time) followed by a super-G on Sunday.
Here are the full results