Hoefl-Riesch leads downhill training ahead of Maze

The Associated Press
Hoefl-Riesch leads downhill training ahead of Maze
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Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch celebrates her fifth place in the finish area after completing an alpine ski, women's World Cup slalom in Flachau, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin held on to a comfortable first-run lead to win a women's World Cup night slalom on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Enrico Schiavi)

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) -- Overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch led defending champion Tina Maze by 0.01 seconds Thursday in the opening downhill training session.

In perfect conditions, Hoefl-Riesch clocked 1 minute, 39.31 seconds down the Olympia delle Tofane course. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third, 0.69 behind.

Hoefl-Riesch has two career wins in Cortina and seven podiums.

Laurenne Ross of the United States crashed but avoided serious injury.

Another training session is scheduled for Friday before the downhill race Saturday and a super-G race Sunday.

Cortina will also host speed races the following weekend, which were moved from Garmisch-Partenkirchen due to a lack of snow in the German resort.