Hoefl-Riesch leads HEAD domination of podium in Sochi Downhill
Maria Hoefl-Riesch won her first World Cup downhill in more than a year as she led three HEAD World Cup rebels onto the podium in the Sochi Downhill. Hoefl-Riesch admitted after the race that she had not thought her run was good enough to win the race after Lindsey Vonn had dominated the training runs down the slope that will be used for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Lizz Goergl and Lindsey Vonn joined Hoefl-Riesch on the podium, the first all HEAD racer podium this season.
Starting 16, Vonn was the first of the top seeds to take to the course. Vonn took the lead yet she had a feeling that she would not keep it. She was right as Hoefl-Riesch immediately took the lead. It took a while and a couple of glances at the timing board before she celebrated taking the lead by almost six tenths of a second on Vonn. “When I crossed the finish line, I saw the board far away,” explained Hoefl-Riesch, “I saw the green light, I came close and wanted to be sure it’s really me standing at the top of the list and I couldn’t believe it. In downhill and super G, Lindsey is so dominating that everyone expects the win from her. This is sometimes easier for the rivals, so you can just hope you’re close and get second or third, this was my aim for today.”
Lizz Goergl had spent the time since the last training run analysing her line and that of the other racers. With one particular gate at the top of the course identified as being the key to carrying the speed onto the flats, Goergl was happy with her performance: “I made one turn better and that was important,” Goergl said. “It’s really a turn where you have to be on the outside ski 100 percent.”
Third place was good enough for Lindsey Vonn to capture the Downhill Globe for the fifth time in her career. Vonn admitted that she had been a little cautious at the top of the course after her coach had told her there was some soft snow starting to gather on the side of the course. Vonn tried out a different pair of race skis for the race yet felt the pair she has used all season could have been faster: “it’s already passed so I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” she explained.
1. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) HEAD
2. Lizz Goergl (AUT) HEAD
3. Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
15. Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
24. Anja Paerson (SWE) HEAD
29. Denise Feierabend (SUI) HEAD