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Hoefl-Riesch fastest in WCup downhill training

December 18, 2013

VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) — Former overall World Cup winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch posted the fastest time in a downhill training session on Wednesday, while Lindsey Vonn was 12th quickest as she continues her comeback from injury.

Hoefl-Riesch, who went off course in Sunday’s slalom race at Courchevel, clocked 1 minute, 49.30 seconds on the Olympique de Bellvarde course, with Austrian skier Anna Fenninger second best in 1:49.47 and Spaniard Carolina Ruiz Castillo third in 1:49.56.

Vonn, a four-time overall winner and the defending Olympic downhill champion, crossed the line in 1:50.53 behind defending World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia.

The downhill is scheduled for Saturday with a giant slalom to follow on Sunday.

American Leanne Smith and Austrian Stefanie Koehle did not finish the run.

Earlier this month, the 29-year-old Vonn returned from racing for the first time in 10 months after a serious knee injury. She finished fifth in her last race, a super-G at Lake Louise, Albert on Dec. 8. She then skipped last weekend’s St. Moritz as part of a lighter schedule before the Sochi Olympics.

In November, Vonn partially re-tore one of two knee ligaments that were reconstructed last February following a heavy crash at the world championships.

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