Austria's Schmidhofer wins 2nd consecutive downhill race at Lake Louise

Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won her second women's World Cup downhill in as many days Saturday.

Roni Remme finishes as top Canadian in 36th

Austria's Nicole Schmidhofer reacts in the finish area following her winning run at the women's World Cup downhill ski race at Lake Louise, Alta., on Saturday. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian PRess)

A woman who waited over a decade for her first World Cup victory in ski racing won her second in as many days Saturday.

Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria doubled up on downhills in Lake Louise, Alta., skiing faster Saturday than she did to win Friday's season-opener.

"It's unbelievable for me," the 29-year-old veteran said. "I'm excited and a little bit surprised that I started the season so great."

Schmidhofer, who raced her first World Cup for Austria in 2007, was over four-tenths of a second quicker Saturday posting a time of one minute 47.68 seconds.

WATCH | Schmidhofer completes Lake Louise downhill sweep

Nicole Schmidhofer completes Lake Louise downhill sweep

3 years ago
Duration 1:59
The Austrian won gold in both of the women's downhill races this weekend at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Lake Louise, Alberta. 1:59

Her teammate Cornelia Huetter, who won a downhill here in 2017, was .44 of a second back in second.

"I skied much better than yesterday," Huetter said. "I like Canada. I was here in 2011 the first time and that impressed me so much. Every year when I come back, it's so amazing.

WATCH | Schmidhofer hoping for top 5 finish to wrap dream weekend:

Nicole Schmidhofer hoping for top 5 super-G finish to wrap up dream weekend

3 years ago
Duration 0:54
After winning both downhill races of the World up stop in Lake Louise, Schmidhofer is just looking for a top-5 finish in Sunday's super-G final to complete a dominating weekend. 0:54

"It's not easy to be focused because everything is so beautiful. It's really hard."

Friday's runner-up Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was third just under half a second behind Schmidhofer. 

Remme finishes as top Canadian in field

Defending overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. was fourth. Roni Remme of Collingwood, Ont., was the top Canadian in 36th.

Sunny skies made for better visibility for all the women after Friday's cloudy skies and flat light.

In both downhills, Schmidhofer nailed a section of the course where the rest of the field struggled — Fall Away into Gun Barrel — with cleaner, higher lines that allowed the five-foot-two skier to carry speed into the bottom section.

WATCH | Roni Remme conquers fear to post best Canadian result:

Roni Remme conquers fear to finish as top Canadian at Lake Louise

3 years ago
Duration 0:53
CBC Sports' Kelly VanderBeek spoke with the Collingwood, Ont., native who finished in 36th place at the FIS World Cup women's downhill race in Lake Louise, Alta. Remme dislocated her shoulder after crashing in Lake Louise in 2016. 0:53

"She told me today was better and that's unbelievable," Huetter said.

Slovenia's Ilka Stuhec, the last woman to win both downhills in Lake Louise in 2016, was 14th.

Sunday's super-G race concludes the World Cup. Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. swept all three races in 2015, 2012 and 2011.

But the American was not able to race at her favourite venue, where she has won 14 downhills, because of injuries she sustained in November training for a super-G race.

Schmidhofer won the women's world super-G title in 2017, but she wasn't feeling confident in that discipline.

"At this time, my performance in downhill is much better than super-G, so I hope for a top-five five tomorrow," she said. "That will be awesome for me."

WATCH | Lake Louise World Cup downhill Run 2:

FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup: Lake Louise - Women's Downhill #2

3 years ago
Duration 1:58:09
FIS Women's Alpine Skiing World Cup from Lake Louise, Alberta 1:58:09

Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic gold medallist in slalom, was first and third last year in Lake Louise.

The 23-year-old has raced only a handful of downhills in her career, however, so her speed disciplines are still a work in progress.

"After last year, I know how it's supposed to feel," Shiffrin said. "That doesn't mean that I can do it every time, but at least I know how it's supposed to feel.

"Today's race versus yesterday's race, it was a lot closer to that feeling of attacking and letting my skis run.

"That doesn't always guarantee a win or even a podium, but it does guarantee that I'm making progress and getting better on my speed skis."

The Canadian women had late start numbers with Remme kicking out of the start hut third-last.

"I think I attacked the top a lot better today compared to yesterday," the 22-year-old said.

"That was my plan, but for sure there were some more sections near the bottom I think I didn't have intensity for that I would have wanted.

"Every day I'm feeling a little more confident. It's always a learning process for me. I'm not super-experienced yet."

Valerie Grenier of St-Isidore, Que., was 37th and Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac Etchemin, Que., finished 40th.

In Beaver Creek, Colo., Ottawa's Dustin Cook was the top Canadian in a men's super-G finishing 21st.


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