YONGPYONG, South Korea March 2, 2003 (AP)--Finland's Kalle Palander took advantage of a warm day to win his third World Cup title this season.
Palander edged Italy's Giorgio Rocca in the slalom by 0.53 seconds, finishing with a two-run combined total of 1 minute, 42.12 seconds. Austrian Benjamin Raich was third in 1:43.56, followed by France's Pierrick Bourgeat, Austria's Kilian Albrecht and American star Bode Miller. American Erik Schlopy was 25th.
Croatia's Ivica Kostelic, 100 points ahead of second-place Palander in the slalom standings, was 15th.
Palander, who also won the slalom in the Austrian cities of Kitzbuehel and Schladming in January, was 0.19 seconds ahead of Rocca after the first run, finishing in 50.73. Despite a slower second run of 51.39, Palander widened the gap after Rocca finished his second run in 51.73.
Skiing under the winter sun with temperature reaching 37 degrees, Palander said the soft snow helped him put on the breaks while making turns.
The slalom competition wrapped up the two-day World Cup after two technical events.
Switzerland's Michael Von Gruenigen won the giant slalom Saturday with a two-run combined time of 2:26.68, beating France's Frederic Covili by 0.17 seconds. Miller was third at 2:27.
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