Bormio, Italy (Dec. 28, 2001)--Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA) broke out of his early-season slump Fri., finishing a credible sixth on the tough Bormio downhill. Unheralded Christian Greber scored his first World Cup win, leading a 1-2-3 Austrian sweep of the podium.
It was the first of two downhills on tap in Bormio, the first added on after the cancellation in Beaver Creek. Outdoor Life Network will air one of the two Bormio downhills Mon. Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. EST.
Rahlves' finish snapped a tough early-season slump with his best previous finishes a pair of ninths in the Soelden giant slalom and Val Gardena downhill. It was his best World Cup finish since his third in Kitzbuehel nearly a year ago.
"We're not totally on yet but we're on our way," said Rahlves of the men's speed team. "I really feel good about my skiing right now."
Rahlves had a sensational run going but almost crashed near the bottom, losing valuable time. "I was two-tenths of a second out and lost about seven-tenths, otherwise I would have had a great one, but it's kind of sweet to have another shot tomorrow," Rahlves added, looking forward to the second downhill on Saturday.
Rahlves' comeback was pretty much in line with his past seasonal progress. "It was nice to come back, I had a nice feeling today," he said. "I had a few good days of skiing at Sugar Bowl over the holidays and it made me feel good again. I've tried to get it started every year in December but it just hasn't worked out. Then I get home, I feel good, I relax, then I come back here and feel really good about my skiing."It was Fleischer's best finish of the year, too, with the Vail native nailing the bottom of the tough course at Bormio, which will be used for the World Championships in 2005.
It was an impressive win for Greber, a little known Austrian whose previous World Cup best was a third on the same Bormio course in the World Cup finals two years ago.
Greber's teammate Stephan Eberharter was third to maintain his overall World Cup lead over Bode Miller by a 640-420 margin. Miller, who will ski limited downhills this year, is in Park City and Snowbasin, Utah for the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup and will return to the World Cup the first weekend in January in Adelboden, Switzerland.
The men will be back in action Saturday in a second downhill in Bormio.
FIS CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Fri. Dec. 28, 2001
1. Christian Greber, Austria, 1:54.33
2. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 1:54.79
3. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 1:55.01
4. Franco Cavegn, Switzerland, 1:55.05
5. Kristian Ghedina, Italy, 1:55.15
6. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, CA, 1:55.25
16. Chad Fleischer, Vail, CO, 1:56.44
40. Jake Fiala, Breckenridge, CO, 1:58.77
FIS CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 640
2. Bode Miller, Franconia, NH, 420
3. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 383
4. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norwy, 355
5. Frederic Covili, France, 333
42. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, CA, 71
55. Erik Schlopy, Park City, UT, 51
67. Casey Puckett, Aspen, CO, 34
77. Thomas Vonn, Newburgh, NY, 23
93. Chad Fleischer, Vail, CO, 15
111. Sacha Gros, Vail, CO, 6
111. Dane Spencer, Boise, ID, 6
117. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 4
118. Jake Fiala, Breckenridge, CO, 3
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 310
2. Kristian Ghedina, Italy, 210
3. Christian Greber, Austria, 191
4. Franco Cavegn, Switzerland, 17
5. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 160
19. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, CA, 52
32. Chad Fleischer, Vail, CO, 15
43. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 4
44. Jake Fiala, Breckenridge, CO, 3