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Hoefl-Riesch wins 2nd straight World Cup downhill

December 7, 2013

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won her second consecutive World Cup downhill on Saturday to take the lead in the overall standings.

The double gold medalist at the Vancouver Olympics and 2011 overall World Cup champion covered the course in 1 minute, 55.09 seconds on an afternoon when the temperature at the finish was below minus-15 degrees (minus-25 C). Hoefl-Riesch also won a downhill on Friday.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein, who was disqualified on Friday for wearing an arm protector over her ski suit, came in second in 1:55.43. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third in 1:55.56.

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S., the reigning Olympic downhill champion, finished 11th of 60 skiers in 1:56.35. She came down the hill with a far more attacking style in the second race of a comeback from reconstructive surgery on her right knee in February.

“That was much better. A lot more like it,” Vonn said. “I’m just really happy with the improvements that I made from yesterday. And just in general, my whole body language was different. I was more aggressive and just more confident and comfortable.”

Hoefl-Riesch greeted Vonn as the American headed off the hill, and told her: “At least you can ski. Maybe it gets better.”

Later, at her news conference, Hoefl-Riesch said: “I’m sure that if her knee is holding and she’s getting the confidence back with more skiing that she will be back on fire.”

Aiming to peak for the Sochi Olympics, which start in two months, Vonn will race a super-G on Sunday.

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