February 25, 2007
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Feb. 25) - Newly crowned slalom world champion Mario Matt of Austria led the first run of a World Cup slalom Sunday and made it stand for his first slalom win in two years. No American qualified for the final run.
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Matt, who won the super combined in Wengen, Switzerland, last month but hasn't won a slalom since 2005 World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, won in 1:35.66 with German Felix Neureuther second in 1:36.07. Defending World Cup overall champion Benjamin Raich of Austria had the fastest second run and moved into third place (1:36.97).
Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) and Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) - who is battling a sore neck suffered during downhill inspection when he jumped to get out of someone's way - went off course midway through their run. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) struggled while Cody Marshall (Pittsfield, VT) - in his first World Cup was 39th in the first run after starting 64th while Roger Brown (Norwich, VT) also finished out of the top 30.
"It was a very tough day, but we had a meeting with the guys after the race," SL/GS Head Coach Mike Morin said, "and there's no panic. We're not going to focus on evaluating the negatives. We all believe we're doing the right things, and there's a general feeling all the guys are so close to getting back to scoring points and being on the podium and all...
"It's not pretty to watch anyone struggle, tough to go through it, but there's no lack of effort, nobody putting in a half an effort, and we'll turn it around," he said. "Kranjska Gora (Slovenia - the next World Cup stop) has been a good hill for us - Jimmy's had his best day there, Bode's won twice there, Ted got his first World Cup points there, so they're feeling upbeat leaving here and heading to a hill where we've had good success."
The men run a giant slalom Saturday in Kranjska Gora and a slalom Sunday.
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