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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of March 19 - 25, 2003

Sports

Bode is second, U.S. third in Nation’s Cup

World Cup wraps up in Norway


It was Bode Miller’s turn to yield the top step of the podium to two outstanding veterans at the World Cup finals in Norway last week.

The first was Stephan Eberharter, 33, of Austria, who won three World Cup globes this winter. The second was Michael Von Gruenigen, 33, of Switzerland, who ended his glittering 15-year career with 23 GS wins and yet another GS season title.

Miller saluted each racer and said it was a privilege to race with them.

But the 25-year-old from New Hampshire accomplished much himself. He captured second place in the overall and second in GS—best showing by a Yank since Phil Mahre won both the overall and GS in 1983.

And the U.S. Ski Team finished third in the Nation’s Cup for the first time in 20 years. Austria was the runaway winner with 14,373 points, Switzerland had 5,589 and the U.S. (4,707) edged Italy (4.629) for third.

Eberharter captured Thursday’s super giant slalom at Kvitfjell, his ninth victory of the winter, and thus clinched three World Cup globes for the second straight year—the overall title plus downhill and SG crowns.

He is one of the most gracious skiers on the tour, particularly since he battled through tough times since becoming a world champion for the first time in 1991.

Miller, one of Eberharter’s greatest admirers, saluted his toughness and skill. "Stephan is an amazing skier," said Miller.

A couple of knee injuries forced Eberharter to fight through the meat-grinder known as the Europa Cup tour, then he returned to Austria’s national team and picked up the slack when seemingly indestructible Hermann Maier was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident just prior to the 2001-02 Olympic season.

 

World Cup finale highlights:

Ignoring tough conditions, Daron Rahlves powered down the Kvitfjell course and finished third in Wednesday’s World Cup downhill finale, behind winner Antoine Deneriaz of France and 2002-03 downhill king Stephan Eberharter of Austria.

Truckee’s Rahlves, 29, who graduated from Vermont’s Green Mountain Valley School, ended the DH season with seven podium results—including podiums in six of the last seven DHs. He won two of the 11 DHs including the Hahnenkamm.

It was the best speed season for an American man in World Cup history.

Eberharter won Thursday’s super giant slalom over Lasse Kjus of Norway and also repeated as the World Cup SG king. Bode Miller was the top American for the season, 12th.

Unfortunately, Rahlves smacked his hand against a SG gate and, one day later, a medical examination showed he had broken the hand. He elected not to race in Saturday’s GS.

In the men’s GS won by Hans Knauss of Austria, Von Gruenigen placed third, Erik Schlopy of the U.S. Ski Team tied for fourth and Miller tied for sixth place at Hafjell. Giorgio Rocca of Italy won Sunday’s slalom as Schlopy had a season-best ninth.

Maine’s Kirsten Clark, 25, used her third-place finish in Wednesday’s Kvitfjell downhill to jump past Carole Montillet and into third place in the DH standings, behind winner Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria.

Clark, 16th in DH standings a year ago, posted the best U.S. DH season performance since Sun Valley’s Picabo Street won the World Cup DH title in 1996. "I had to stand on the podium to move up in the standings—and I got both," Clark said.

In Thursday’s SG, Clark placed seventh and ended 10th in the SG standings behind winner Montillet.

Clark added, "It’s great to be on the U.S. Ski Team right now. All the motivation from the success of the men carries over to the women, with Daron and Bode doing well. There’s a lot of team spirit now."

Minnesota’s Kristina Koznick, 27, second in the slalom standings a year ago, salvaged a disappointing slalom season by winning Saturday’s World Cup SL finale at Hafjell. It was the sixth victory of her career. The two-time Olympian was fourth after the first run then tore through the finale.

Italy’s Karen Putzer captured Sunday’s giant slalom with Sarah Schleper of the U.S. placing seventh.

Next: The Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships starting Thursday, March 20 at Lake Placid, N.Y.

One skier who won’t be there is Caroline Lalive, 23. The two-time Olympian had surgery on her right knee last weekend in Vail, Colo. She was injured (knee, ribs) in a finish-line crash March 1 at Innsbruck.

 

Season results by discipline:

Men’s overall (37 races): 1—Stephan Eberharter (Aust.) 1,333. 2—Bode Miller 1,100. 3—Kjetil Andre Aamodt (Nor.) 940. 6—Daron Rahlves 647. 29—Erik Schlopy 297. 55—Marco Sullivan 136. 58—Chip Knight 130.

Men’s downhill (11 races): 1—Stephan Eberharter (Aust.) 790. 2—Daron Rahlves 593. 13—Bode Miller 268. 20—Marco Sullivan 102. 34—Jake Fiala 38.

Men’s super giant slalom (6 races); 1—Stephan Eberharter 356. 2—Marco Buechel (Liech). 280. 12—Bode Miller 138. 24—Daron Rahlves 45. 26—Marco Sullivan 34. 31—Jake Fiala 32. 39—Thomas Vonn 20. 49—Erik Schlopy 9.

Men’s giant slalom (8 races): 1—Michael Von Gruenigen (Switz.) 542. 2—Bode Miller 425. 12—Erik Schlopy 163. 49—Daron Rahlves and Dane Spencer of Boise 9 each. 55—Thomas Vonn 4.

Men’s slalom (10 races): 1—Kalle Palander (Fin.) 658. 17—Bode Miller 144. 19—Chip Knight 130. 20—Erik Schlopy 125. 29—Tom Rothrock 71.

Women’s overall (33 races): 1—Janica Kostelic (Croat.) 1,570. 2—Karen Putzer (Italy) 1,100. 3—Anja Paerson (Swe.) 1,042. 9—Kirsten Clark 661. 22—Sarah Schleper 326. 23—Caroline Lalive 325. 27—Kristina Koznick 269. 46—Julia Mancuso 159.

Women’s downhill (6 races): 1—Michaela Dorfmeister (Aust.) 372. 2—Renate Goetschl (Aust.) 368. 3—Kirsten Clark 316. 16—Jonna Mendes 113. 18—Caroline Lalive 90. 27—Julia Mancuso 44. 35—Libby Ludlow 16. 36—Katie Monahan 14. 42—Alison Powers 8. 43—Bryna McCarty 6. 47—Lindsey Kildow 3.

Women’s super giant slalom (6 races): 1—Carole Montillet (Fra.) 493. 2—Renate Goetschl (Aust.) 458. 10—Kirsten Clark 252. 13—Jonna Mendes 191. 15—Caroline Lalive 136. 25—Julia Mancuso 53. 28—Libby Ludlow 48. 35—Katie Monahan 25.

Women’s giant slalom (9 races): 1—Anja Paerson (Swe.) 514. 2—Karen Putzer (Italy) 513. 21—Sarah Schleper 140. 25—Kirsten Clark 75. 26—Caroline Lalive 67. 30—Kristina Koznick 57. 33—Jonna Mendes 2.

Women’s slalom (9 races): 1—Janica Kostelic (Croat.) 710. 2—Anja Paerson (Swe.) 498. 11—Kristina Koznick 212. 12—Sarah Schleper 186.

 

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