Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany Jan. 26, 2002 (AP by Nesha Starcevic)--Fritz Strobl strengthened his bid for a spot on Austria's powerful Olympic team by winning a World Cup super giant slalom Saturday on a tough course.
U.S. star Daron Rahlves was ninth, 1.39 seconds behind Strobl, in a race in which Austrians took three of the first four spots and five of the top 10.
Strobl was timed in 1 minute, 20.10 seconds for his second victory of the season following a downhill win in Bormio, Italy.
Switzerland's Didier Cuche finished second in 1:20.60. Austria's Stephen Eberharter, winner of the previous two super-Gs, was third in 1:20.79 and stretched his big lead in the overall World Cup standings.
Strobl's eighth career victory most likely will assure him a place on his country's Olympic team, at least in the super-G.
``I didn't really think of the Olympics,'' he said. ``I simply was trying to ski as well as I can, without trying anything spectacular. And it went perfectly.''
Watched by wife Bettina and young son Mario, Strobl won on the slope where he captured a downhill last year.
``Garmisch just suits me,'' Strobl said. ``I like warm weather and it seems my family brings me luck. After this, Mario will have to come to all the races.''
Austria's Andreas Schifferer finished fourth, 0.74 seconds behind the winner.
Mild, sunny weather softened the course and slowed late starters. Many skiers made mistakes in the upper part, especially in a steep, sharp curve.
``You have to adjust to the conditions,'' Strobl said. ``Besides, I like this kind of snow.''
With two wins and one third place, Eberharter leads the super-G standings with 260 points, 40 more than Cuche. Strobl is third at 167.
Overall, Eberharter has 1,092 points to lead Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway with 891 and Bode Miller of the United States with 820. Miller doesn't race speed events.
Another World Cup super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press