Maria Hoefl-Riesch continued the tremendous record that the HEAD World Cup Rebels have in Lake Louise with victory in the second World Cup Downhill of the season. Hoefl-Riesch did not just win the race; she battered the rest of the field into submission with a commanding win of nearly three quarters of a second from Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden and Elena Fanchini in third and Anna Fenninger taking fourth.
This was Hoefl-Riesch’s fourth win in Lake Louise and you have to go back to 2008 for the last time HEAD did not win the Women’s Downhill in Lake Louise. With three of the first four racers home, this was a great day for the HEAD World Cup Rebels in Lake Louise.
With the weather conditions, bitterly cold at -30 degrees in the finish and a wind chill that made it even colder for the racers as they came down, the delay to the start may have explained Hoefl-Riesch’s rush to get down. The mid-section of the course and then from Fallaway down were excellent for her and she soon had a healthy one-second plus lead over those that had already been down the course.
After the race she said: I am very satisfied, it was really almost perfect, the little things that did not quite fit in training, I managed today. For me it was a great day, I hope it continues like this."
Only the 27 year old from Switzerland was able to live with the pace set by Hoefl-Riesch and Kaufmann-Abderhalden improved on her third last year with second this year.
Fenninger was satisfied despite missing the podium. "Fourth place is not bad, while it is freezing cold, at least the conditions were fair. Anyway I would have never thought that I could make the podium here in the downhill. I am very satisfied. My run was still very mixed."
Despite having won in Lake Louise fourteen times in her career, Lindsey Vonn was not able to make a miraculous comeback and continue her winning run in Lake Louise after her recent knee injury. After the race she said: "I did not think of the knee, it was really only a lack of self-confidence, because I have not trained so much over the past few weeks. That takes a little time."
Kajsa Kling came down from a start number of 55, to post an impressive 11th best time for the HEAD World Cup Rebels, with Ramona Siebenhofer taking 17th form a start number of 49: What is their limit?
1. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) HEAD
2. Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden (SUI) HEAD
3. Elena Fanchini (ITA)
4. Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
14. Lizz Goergl (AUT) HEAD
17. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) HEAD
26. Julia Mancuso (USA) HEAD