Maze conquers Cortina downhill

Tina Maze finally ended her long wait for a victory after winning the Cortina downhill in Italy to return to form ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

The defending World Cup overall champion posted a winning time of one minute 37.79 seconds for her first win of the season.

Second place went to Switzerland's Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden, who was 0.27 seconds behind, and third was Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein who was a further 0.38 secs back.

The win ended a drought for Slovenia's Maze, whose three previous podiums this season had followed a record-breaking last season when she recorded 11 wins and came two weeks after she hired former Switzerland coach Mauro Pini.

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch defied the pain of a knee injury to finish fourth and maintain her points lead in both the overall and downhill standings.

Cortina faces a packed schedule after fitting the downhill races, moved from Garmisch-Partenkirchen due to a lack of snow in Germany, in between two super-G races.

The first super-G on Thursday was won by Austria's Elisabeth Goergl with the second due to be staged on Sunday.

Maze will be at home next weekend when the Slovenian resort of Kranjska Gora stages giant slalom and slalom races, the final races before Sochi.