Rahlves third on same course he won two weeks ago
Daron Rahlves, returning to the hill where he won two weeks earlier, nabbed his third World Cup podium of the season Saturday in Bormio, Italy, breaking up an all-Austrian top-three by claiming third place.
Stephan Eberharter, showing no signs of his previous knee injury, claimed his fourth downhill victory of the season with a sizzling run of 1 minute 59.27 seconds. He briefly regained the overall World Cup lead but then lost it again on Sunday when Bode Miller, of Franconia, N.H., finished runner-up in slalom.
Michael Walchhofer, the only other racer to crack the two-minute barrier, was second (1:59.75) and Rahlves was third (2:00.04). Rahlves moved into third place in the downhill standings with 261 points.
Marco Sullivan, from Tahoe City, Calif., was 21st and Jake Fiala, from Frisco, Colo., tied for 35th.
Miller, the first U.S. man in 20 years to lead the World Cup, finished eighth. He leads the World Cup standings with 690 points. Eberharter is runner-up with 655, followed by Kjetil Andre Aamodt, of Norway, with 415.
Rahlves may have been able to finish second but clipped a panel near the bottom of the course.
“I was going for a straight line at the bottom, and it’s was dark, and I hit a bump and that threw me right into the panel. I thought I almost straddled it but I pulled it off,” Rahlves said.
Head DH/Super-G coach John McBride said the gate probable cost Rahlves second place, but he was impressed the Truckee, Calif., skiers was able to maintain control and finish third.
“Daron almost put it down at the end. He skied right through a gate; it probably would’ve taken down most people but he kept it going and had a solid run otherwise.”
Rahlves was third at the Chevy Truck Birds of Prey downhill Dec. 7 at Beaver Creek, Colo., the first time three U.S. men had been in the top 10 of a World Cup since 1972, and earned his third World Cup win two weeks ago. He headed back to Lake Tahoe for the New Year’s holiday, did some skiing and snowboarding, and finished with a day of giant slalom training at Sugar Bowl Ski Area before returning to Europe.
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