Maria Hoefl-Riesch followed up her impressive performances in the training runs to win her 27th career World Cup race and further extend her lead in the Overall World Cup. Tina Weirather took second with late starter Nicole Schmidhofer taking third.
Fresh overnight snow covered the course, requiring a huge effort by the army and volunteers to clear the snow and get the race off, resulting in the race starting 30 minutes late and down a shortened track.
For Hoefl-Riesch "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.
"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," she added. This was the third win in Downhill for Hoefl-Riesch this season, matching her record of 2010 – 11.
Despite finishing sixth, Anna Fenninger said: “Everything is so tight, only Maria was just out of reach I was missing the good fortune when it comes back on another day, I'm not upset." Fenninger moves to third in the race for the Overall.
With Julia Mancuso following up her improved Super G form with ninth place, the form of the HEAD World Cup Rebels coming into the Olympics is looking very promising. Winner of the first Super G in this prolonged visit to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lizz Goergl, suffered a visit into the netting not long into the shortened course. She appeared to be unhurt.
With the HEAD racers pushing themselves to the limit, they have another downhill scheduled for Saturday. With the Olympics drawing ever closer, the form of the HEAD World Cup Rebels is peaking at the right time. In the race for the Downhill Crystal Globe Hoefl-Riesch extends her lead and Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden stays in front of Fenninger in third and fourth.
1. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) HEAD
2. Tina Weirather (LIE)
3. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT)
6. Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
9. Julia Mancuso (USA) HEAD
14. Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden (SUI) HEAD
18= Kajsa Kling (SWE) HEAD