Rahlves wins third downhill of season
WENGEN, Switzerland – While Bode Miller griped about too much media coverage this week, his American teammate Daron Rahlves was inspired by a lack of recognition.Rahlves, feeling snubbed by Swiss papers leading up to Saturday’s downhill, responded by becoming the first American in more than a decade to win on the Lauberhorn course.Rahlves finished in 2 minutes, 30.54 seconds. Michael Walchhofer, the reigning World Cup downhill champion, was .40 seconds behind. His Austrian teammate, Olympic downhill champion Fritz Strobl, was third.”I read that ski legend Bernhard Russi had picked his six favorites: Walchhofer, Strobl, Marco (Buechel), Bode (Miller), Bruno Kernen and Hermann Maier. I wasn’t even mentioned,” Rahlves said after winning his third downhill of the season. “Seriously, it gave me more motivation. I want to be known as a contender.”Miller, who spent part of this week apologizing for comments he made about skiing “wasted,” finished 11th – 2.41 seconds back – after a couple of mistakes. Marco Sullivan (16th) and Scott Macartney (26th) also cracked the top 30 for the U.S.
The Lauberhorn, at 2.8 miles the longest course on the World Cup circuit, is one of five so-called classic races on tour.Rahlves became the first American to win on the Lauberhorn since Kyle Rasmussen in 1995. Bill Johnson is the only other U.S. skier to win here.U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association president Bill Marolt, who came to Wengen to talk with Miller, was glad he made the trip.”I stayed because I wanted to see the races. I get a real kick and a real sense of enjoyment seeing our guys stand on the podium,” Marolt said.Rahlves said the recent uproar over Miller’s behavior had not affected him.
“I just laugh,” Rahlves said. “Bode is saying things that bring a lot of attention to the sport. Now there’s this guy in Dallas, Texas, who knows there’s a Winter Olympics. I think any press is good, even if corporate sponsors don’t like it.”He’s good at talking. He backs things up. He’s on his game, and every single race he’s a threat.”Rahlves, who has excelled this season in downhill since taking the advice of former champion Stephan Eberharter to tone down his partying, said it was unlikely he would give Miller the same counsel.”He wouldn’t listen,” Rahlves said.
Kostelic wins her first World Cup downhillBAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria – Janica Kostelic, who won three golds and a silver at the 2002 Olympics, now also is a medal contender in the downhill as the Turin Games approach.Kostelic won her first World Cup downhill Saturday, building her lead in the overall standings and proving her strength in the only Alpine event in which she did not compete at the Salt Lake City Games four years ago.Lindsey Kildow of the United States finished 18th and lost the lead in the World Cup downhill standings to Michaela Dorfmeister, who was third. The Austrian has 312 points to Kildow’s 287.
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