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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2003


Hahnenkamm DH winner is Rahlves

Miller keeps World Cup lead

With all eyes on World Cup overall title challenger Bode Miller of New Hampshire, another American stole the headlines during the 63rd Hahnenkamm weekend Jan. 24-26 in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Daron Rahlves, 29, a former jet ski world champion from Truckee, Ca., became the first American racer to win the Hahnenkamm downhill since Buddy Werner in 1959. Rahlves’ unexpected victory silenced the tens of thousands of Austrian spectators.

Throwing himself down the weather-shortened Streif course with abandon, Rahlves captured his second World Cup victory of the season and fourth of his career by just .05 seconds over Swiss racer Didier Cuche.

The home Austrians left the Hahnenkamm empty-handed for the first time in five years.

"It is incredible," said Rahlves, who won in Bormio last month and nailed the bottom of Saturday’s Kitzbuehel downhill. "I’m still trying to soak it up. Every downhiller dreams of winning the Hahnenkamm. It’s the sign of a great champion."

Locked in a week-by-week battle for the World Cup lead, Austria’s Stephan Eberharter, 33, was fourth and U.S. all-rounder Bode Miller, 25, placed eighth on a Streif course shortened by relentless fog from 3.3 kilometers to 2k.

Eberharter leads the downhill standings with 610 points and Rahlves is second, 473.

Sunday, Miller was third after the first run of the Hahnenkamm slalom. He survived two second-run spills to finish 27th and boost his overall World Cup lead to 935-905 over Eberharter. Miller ended up fifth in the Kitzbuehel combined calculation.

Two weeks ago Miller was second in the 73rd Lauberhorn combined at Wengen, Switz. Living dangerously, he survived a splintered ski in the Jan. 19 Wengen slalom to finish an impressive 11th, a season best. Miller still hasn’t hit his stride in slalom.

On Monday, Eberharter pulled ahead of Miller 965-957 by placing fourth in the Austrian-dominated super giant slalom won by comeback kid Hermann Maier at Kitzbuehel. Miller tied for 13th place.

Another New Englander, Kirsten Clark, 25, of Maine posted her third podium of the season as she placed second in the women’s DH Jan. 18 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Clark is tied with Olympic downhill champion Carole Montillet of France for first place in the DH standings after four races with 245 points apiece. Clark is 10th in the overall women’s standings after 24 events with 485 points. The leader is Janica Kostelic of Croatia with 1,342.

Best women in the gates are Kostelic, winner of four of the seven slaloms, and Sweden’s Anja Paerson, who has won the last two World Cup giant slaloms and also captured Sunday’s SL in Slovenia over Kostelic.

The U.S. will now compete in the World Championships starting Sunday, Feb. 2 at St. Moritz, Switz. On the team of nine men and eight women are 15 U.S. Olympians from 2002:

Men: Miller, Rahlves, Jake Fiala, Chip Knight, Tom Rothrock, Erik Schlopy, Dane Spencer of Boise, Marco Sullivan and Thomas Vonn. Women: Clark, Kristina Koznick, Caroline Lalive, Libby Ludlow, Julia Mancuso, Jonna Mendes, Sarah Schleper and Resi Stiegler of Jackson Hole.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.