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Alpine skiing: Goergl pips Hoefl-Riesch to super-G win

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Austria's Elisabeth Goergl claimed her second World Cup victory of the month after dominating Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch to win the women's super-G at Cortina d'Ampezzo on Thursday.

In changing weather conditions Goergl, starting ninth, clocked a winning time of 1min 24.23sec for the Olympia delle Tofane course with Hoefl-Riesch, starting 21st, second at just 0.04s.

Another Austrian, Nicole Hosp -- who started 11th from the field -- finished third at 0.34. Goergl won the women's downhill at Altenmarkt, Austria earlier this month to claim her first victory of the season.

"What I am looking for every day is the way to ski the best," said Goergl after claiming the sixth World Cup win of her career. "That is the main focus and of course it is great when it pays off and you are the fastest."

With the Olympic Games two weeks away, Goergl's second victory in succession appears to have given her a boost before her trip to Sochi -- but statistics suggest otherwise.

On five previous occasions a women's super-G was held in Cortina a month before the Games but none of the five winners at the Italian Dolomites venue won Olympic gold in the discipline.

However a number of potential gold medal winners in Sochi were not far off the podium.

Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather finished fourth at 0.69, Anna Fenninger of Austria was fifth at 0.74 and last year's World Cup champion, Slovenian Tina Maze, was 0.92 off the pace in sixth. All four were late starters.

American Julia Mancuso, who started 18th, was almost a second off the pace in 0.98 although Swiss Lara Gut, the World Cup super-G leader, could only finish 19th and has seen Fenninger come to within three points of her series lead.

World Cup overall and downhill leader Hoefl-Riesch is a favourite for the downhill on Friday and welcomed her first super-G podium of the season.

"Today I finally managed not to make any big mistakes and I am really happy about this race," said the German, who is hoping to carry her form to the Olympics, where she is defending champion in the slalom and super-combined.

"The season has been going well for me, not perfect but really good. With the Olympics getting closer, I hope I will have enough of this consistency and mental strength entering the races there."

Hosp said: "I know I can be fast and for sure it's always nice when it works out and when you're standing on the podium. Maria and Lizz (Goergl) had both really good runs and I am not so far away. I am happy about it."

Two women's downhills are set to be held, on Friday and Saturday, while a second women's super-G is scheduled for Sunday.

Cortina d'Ampezzo was set to host a super-G and downhill last week but both races were cancelled and rescheduled due to heavy snowfall.

The Italian venue is also staging a downhill and a super-G that were originally scheduled at the German resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140123/alpine-skiing-goergl-pips-hoefl-riesch-super-g-win-0