Austrians finish 1-2 in men’s super giant slalom | SummitDaily.com

Austrians finish 1-2 in men’s super giant slalom

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WHISTLER, British Columbia ” Christoph Gruber led a 1-2 Austrian finish Thursday in a World Cup super giant slalom on the same course that will host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Gruber won for the fourth time on the World Cup circuit, finishing in 1 minute, 26.60 seconds.

Hannes Reichelt was 0.03 seconds behind, followed by Slovenia’s Ales Gorza in 1:26.71.

Steven Nyman was the top American, tying for 25th.

World Cup leader Bode Miller failed to finish.

“There is a lot of terrain,” said Miller, who hurt his left wrist when slapped by a gate.

Recommended Stories For You

“It looks good from the little bit I saw of it.”

This was Gruber’s first World Cup victory since 2006.

“It’s a good feeling to win here,” he said.

“Hopefully I’m here at the Olympics in two years.”

The race was staged on the same Dave Murray downhill course that will be used in the Olympics.

This week’s World Cup events are the first official test events for the games.

“It’s a tough course,” Gruber said.

“You have to work from the start to the finish.

There are no flat parts. It’s really great to ski.”

The win was the fifth of Gruber’s career, but the first since 2006. He is tied with Reichelt for second place in the World Cup super G standings with 225 points.

Switzerland’s Didier Cuche, who was eighth, leads the standings with 280 points after five races.

Local Olympic organizers spent $27.6 million upgrading the Creekside facility for 2010.

The race was important for organizers since it was the first successful World Cup event in Whistler since 1995.

The International Ski Federation abandoned Whistler as a World Cup stop in 1998 after three consecutive years of race cancellations because of poor snow and weather.

Organizers had tried to stage those races before Christmas.

Between 1982 and 1995, 12 men’s and one women’s World Cup races were held in Whistler.

All but one was staged on the Dave Murray men’s course and all were held after Christmas.

The women will race a downhill Friday and super-combi Sunday. The men will have a giant slalom Saturday.