Sochi discard Fischbacher wins Crans-Montana downhill

Sun Mar 2, 2014 11:23am EST
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By Manuele Lang

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (Reuters) - Austrian Andrea Fischbacher beat Sochi gold medalists Anna Fenninger and Tina Maze to win the World Cup downhill in Crans-Montana on Sunday, in the process winning her first race for four years.

Fischbacher, in the first race since the Sochi Games, clocked one minute 34.00 seconds to win her first race since becoming Super-G Olympic champion at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010.

Fellow Austrian Fenninger finished 0.15 seconds behind with Maze third, a further 0.32 seconds adrift.

The 28-year-old Fischbacher's lack of form since then culminated in her failure to make the Austrian Olympic Team to defend her title in Sochi. In her absence, Fenninger won super-G gold while Maze won both the downhill and giant slalom.

"I often considered retiring from the circuit in the last few years for nothing was easy for me. But I always believed I could make it back on the podium after all those years. But a victory is more than I was hoping for," Fischbacher said.

"Life is funny at times when you think that I could not qualify for Sochi.

"When I saw I was not going to join the party, I told myself to stay positive and do what I do best, that is train and work hard."

The race was rescheduled and delayed twice as overnight snow and thick fog threatened to cancel it altogether.   Continued...

Andrea Fischbacher of Austria celebrates winning the women's FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Downhill race on her way to the podium in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich