Alpine skiing: Hoefl-Riesch wins, Vonn returns to racing

Alpine skiing: Hoefl-Riesch wins, Vonn returns to racing

LAKE LOUISE, Canada - Germany's Maria Hoefl-Reisch captured the Lake Louise women's downhill Friday as Lindsey Vonn finished 41st in her return to the World Cup circuit.

The 29-year-old Hoefl-Reisch stormed down the course in one minute, 56.03 seconds, beating runner-up Swiss Mariar Kaufmann-Abderhalden and third place Elena Fanchini of Italy.

Vonn, who had won seven straight races at Lake Louise, saw her win streak snapped in her first race in 10 months after tearing ligaments in her right knee at the February world championships in Schladming, Austria.

Her return was delayed a week after she re-injured the knee in training in November, putting her in a race against time to regain her fitness in time to defend her Olympic downhill crown in Sochi, Russia, in February.

Kaufmann-Abderhalden clocked 1:56.73 while Fanchini finished in a time of 1:57.23. Austria's Anna Fenninger was fourth while Tina Weirather, of Liechtenstein, rounded out the top five in a race that was delayed one hour because of frigid temperatures.

Vonn, who decided to put off surgery until after Sochi, finished in a time of 1:59.22, over three seconds behind Hoefl-Reisch.

Vonn, who skied cautiously Friday, could get another chance to test the knee in Saturday's second Lake Louise downhill.

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