Skiing - Svindal and Hoefl-Riesch impress at downhill World Cups

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal continued his impressive start to the season with a victory in the World Cup downhill on Beaver Creek's soaring Birds of Prey course.

Alpine Skiing - Svindal wins in Beaver Creek; Vonn safe in Lake Louise

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Aksel Lund Svindal at Beaver Creek (AFP)

The reigning world and World Cup champion won the super-G in Lake Louise last weekend and is an early leader in the overall standings after a fourth place in opening downhill of the season.

In sub-zero temperatures, he clocked 1:44.50 to edge Austria's Hannes Reichelt and Peter Fill into second and third.

Bad weather meant all skiers had only one training run on the hybrid course that was made up of elements from the Raptor and Birds of Prey courses.

“I knew I had to be aggressive,” said Svindal, who is now the most successful skier ever at Beaver Creek, his 11 wins overtaking Hermann Maier.

“I felt like it was a pretty good run when I came down, but I wasn’t sure at all. It was nice to see the result.

"I have to admit, I like the old course more. This course was great but the old Birds of Prey was world class. However, in the end it's all about the win, so I can't say that I'm too disappointed." Elsewhere, Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch won her first World Cup of the season - and the 25th of her career - with a win in the women's downhill at Lake Louise.

Bad weather delayed the start but the German clocked 1:56.03 to finish seven tenths of a second ahead of second placed Swiss skier Marianne Kaufman-Abderhalden, in her best ever World Cup finish, and Italy's Elena Fanchini.

Meanwhile, Great Britain's TJ Baldwin finished just under six seconds off the pace set by Svindal in Beaver Creek, ranking 65th.

© Sportsbeat 2013

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