Maier break’s Klammer’s wins record
TODTNAU, Germany – Ex-bricklayer Hermann Maier made ski racing’s return to the Black Forest historic capturing his 27th World Cup win on Saturday.
Maier’s win in the giant slalom put him past racing legend Franz Klammer as the most successful Austrian World Cup racer. Maier, who was .22 seconds behind countryman Benjamin Raich after the first run, had the fastest second run for his ninth win of the season in 2 minutes 13.75 seconds. Fredrik Nyberg of Sweden, ninth after the first run, was second in 2:14.61 with Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland third (2:14.77). Raich, who started so brilliantly as a World Cup rookie a year ago but has run into problems this winter, finished fifth.
All of Maier’s victories have come since he picked off a super-G at Garmisch in February 1997. The latest not only made Maier the winningest Austrian skier, but it boosted him into a tie for fifth place overall with American legend Phil Mahre. Mahre, who retired after the 1984 season, won 27 World Cups (nine slalom, seven giant slaloms and 11 combined) en route to three overall World Cup titles (1981-83).
Erik Schlopy of Park City, Utah, the lone U.S. skier to make the second run Saturday, finished 27th.
The men head to St. Anton, Austria, for downhill and super giant slalom Friday and Saturday. When the Cafe de Colombia tour goes to Adelboden, Switzerland, for GS and SL Feb. 19-20, 20 of the top downhillers will be competing in back-to-back downhills Feb. 17-18 at the inaugural Winter Goodwill Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
TODTNAU, Germany – A strong second run in deteriorating conditions coupled with a hesitant second run by the first-run leader gave Austrian Rainer Schoenfelder his first World Cup victory Sunday.
Schoenfelder, who came into the race with a career-best in slalom of fourth, tore through the second run to win in 1:26.87. That overtook Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who struggled to finish in 1:26.96. Third place went to another Norwegian, veteran Ole Kristian Furuseth, who had a two-run time of 1:27.00.
Erik Schlopy of Park City, Utah, finished 28th, but was 10 seconds out, and received no World Cup points. FIS rules stipulate finishers must be within eight seconds of the winner.
Because of the warm weather and softening snow, race officials elected to go with a reverse-15 format for the second run.
“It stayed really humid during the night and the course didn’t freeze, so they decided early to do flip-15. They knew it would deteriorate, and it did. It was a good decision,” said U.S. giant slalom-slalom head coach Jesse Hunt. “They had some big ruts, even in the first run.”
Schlopy, starting No. 43 and one of only four racers from outside the first 30 starters, qualified 23rd. However, according to Hunt, Schlopy stopped momentarily in his second run when he felt he might have missed a gate. Despite the halt, Schlopy was seventh on the bottom split, but it wasn’t enough. His final time was 1:36.87.
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