From US Ski Team
SHIGA KOGEN, Japan (March 11) - Austrian Benjamin Raich clinched the World Cup overall Saturday by finishing fourth in a slalom in which Finn Kalle Palander tied Reinfried Herbst of Austria for the victory. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was 10th.
Palander led the first run with Raich second. Herbst, who was Olympic silver medalist two weeks ago behind Raich, took the lead at 1:40.60 and Palander, the last skier on course - and the 1999 slalom world champion during Worlds at Vail and Beaver Creek, Colo., deadlocked him for the win.
Canadian Thomas Grandi tied his own national mark for best World Cup SL finish with his second third-place finish in 24 hours.
After 33 of 37 races, Raich has 1,310 points to 831 for teammate Michael Walchhofer. He succeeds Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH), who stands sixth in the overall points with four races left.
Ligety, the lone U.S. skier to make the second run, had the fifth-fastest after being 16th in the first run and finished with a total time of 1:41.64.
World Cup Finals begin Wednesday in Aare, Sweden, host of the 2007 World Alpine Ski Championships. U.S. Alpine Championships - where Ligety will be the defending slalom and combined champion - are set for March 25-30 at Maine's Sugarloaf USA.
MEN'S ALPINE WORLD CUP
Shiga Kogen, JPN - March 11, 2006
1. (tie) Kalle Palander, Finland, and Reinfried Herbst, Austria, 1:40.60 each
3. Thomas Grandi, Canada, 1:40.93
4. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:40.95
5. Markus Larsson, Sweden, 1:41.11
10. Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah, 1:41.64
Did not qualify for 2nd run:
Chip Knight, Stowe, Vt.; Jimmy Cochran, Keene, N.H.; Tom Rothrock, Cashmere, Wash.
For complete results:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=16995