Lake Louise, Alberta, Nov. 26, 2000--Hermann Maier of Austria hung-up the 30th victory of his career Sunday at Lake Louise Ski Area, winning the first super G of the season. Daron Rahlves led a U.S. assault on the top 30, finishing 13th as three other Americans earned points, too.
Outdoor Life Network will televise coverage of the race tonight at 7 EST with a repeat at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
"We had a few in the top 30 - maybe not as high as they'd like to be, but still good to see a few guys in the points," U.S. downhill/super G Coach Dale Stephens, "but this was a good first race, a good showing. It gives us some momentum as we head to Beaver Creek" for the Ernst&Young Birds of Prey downhill and super G races Friday and Saturday.
Maier, a surprise 15th Saturday in the opening downhill, finished in 1:29.53 with Lasse Kjus of Norway second in1:29.85. Then came four more Austrians in the 25-degree weather under a partly sunny sky over the CanadianRockies.
Rahlves was mystified - "I'm shocked. I thought I skied well and would be at least top eight," he said - when he sawhis time (1:31.02). He was followed by Chad Fleischer (Vail), who was 20th in 1:31.68 with Bode Miller (Franconia,NH) firing out of the No. 61 start to finish 22nd in 1:31.72 with Casey Puckett 29th in 1:32.07. Jake Fiala(Breckenridge, CO) was 31st, knocked out of the top 30 by a tenth of a second, and Brett Fischer (Winter Park, CO),in his second World Cup race, was 38th.
"It's a surprise. I'm feeling really confident on my skis right now...but this is crazy. The feelings I have right now are notwhere they have to be for me to be competitive. I still felt like I was in there. That's the shock - feeling like you're thereand not being there," said Rahlves, who was eighth a year ago at Lake Louise.
"I've had the good feeling, but I definitely didn't bring it out this weekend," he said. "This is definitely getting me angryand fired-up for another shot at Beaver Creek."
"It's going okay. The guys are doing a good job and our equipment's doing well, too. I'm pleased. It bodes well,"added men's Head Coach Bill Egan. "Daron and Chad and Paul Casey were a little disappointed today, but they'refighting and they're competitive and in there, and that's good."
He gave high marks to Miller, Fiala and Fischer for battling their way through what had become a badly rutted course."Only five guys moved forward, so I'm pleased with those guys. It's good to get those first races out of the way. I'mlooking forward
There will be the inevitable distractions at Beaver Creek from family and friends, Egan said, "and we'll have to dealbetter with them. Any distractions in Vail are nothing compared to what we'll face next season at the Olympics andwe have to learn how to do with them."
As the men moved on to the Ernst&Young races at Beaver Creek, the U.S. women - and those of more than adozen other nations - were checking in to the luxurious Chateau Lake Louise in a World Cup tag-team process. Thewomen compete in the second phase of the Winterstart World Cup, running downhills Thursday and Friday with asuper G Saturday.
CAFE de COLOMBIA WORLD CUP Lake Louise, ALB - Nov. 26 Men's SG
1. Hermann Maier, Austria, 1:29.53 2. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 1:29.85 3. Andreas Schifferer, Austria, 1:29.95 4. Josef Strobl, Austria, 1:30.11 5. Stefan Eberharter, Austria, 1:30.16 6. Christoph Gruber, Austria, 1:30.39 7. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:30.48 8. Werner Franz, Austria, 1:30.53 9. Fredriik Nyberg, Sweden, 1:30.55 10. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 1:30.61 11. Hans Knauss, Austria, 1:30.80 12. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 1:30.91 13. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, Calif., 1:31.02 14. Hannes Trinkl, Austria, 1:31.15 15. Silvano Beltrametti, Switzerland, 1:31.25 16. (tie), Steve Locher, Switzerland, and Fritz Strobl, Austria, 1:31.29 each 18. Patrick Wirth, Austria, 1:31.30 19. Patrice Emanuel, France, 1:31.65 20. Chad Fleischer, Vail, Colo., 1:31.68 21. Paul Accola, Switzerland, 1:31.71 22. Bode Miller, Francnoia, N.H., 1:31.72 23. Ivan Bormolini, Italy, 1:31.81 24. (tie) Claude Cretier, France, and Bruno Kernen, Switzerland, 1:31.82 each 26. Franco Cavegn, Switzerland, 1:31.99 27. (tie) Darin McBeath, Canada, and Christophe Saioni, France, 1:32.05 each 29. Casey Puckett, Aspen, Colo., 1:32.07 30. Ozbi Oslak, Slovenia, 1:32.09
31. Jake Fiala, Breckenridge, Colo., 1:32.19 38. Brett Fischer, Winter Park, Colo., 1:32.68