Fleischer grabs second in Spain
SIERRA NEVADA, Spain – Veteran Chad Fleischer of Vail, putting an exclamation point at the end of his finest international season, reached his first World Cup podium Wednesday, finishing second in downhill at the World Cup Finals in Sierra Nevada.
Norway’s Lasse Kjus regained the overall World Cup lead as he won the final DH of the season while defending overall champion Hermann Maier of Austria tied for ninth. Kjus won in 1;49.73 with Fleischer, skiing 18th in the field of 28, finishing in 1:49.89.
“It’s an incredible feeling, Fleischer said. “It’s been a long road and it just goes to show that hard work and determination pays off.”
Fleischer added that “it’s been getting better and better as the season wore on.
“You just never know,” he continued, “there are no guarantees, but it’s nice to see dividends being paid now for all the hard work.”
Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria, already crowned as the overall women’s champion, won her eighth race of the season as she took the women’s downhill in 1:54.16.
Drawing the No. 18 seed in the random drawing from the top seeded-skiers, Fleischer said he “was happy,” with the selection.
“It was about the best bib I could’ve had,” he said.
Coach Bill Egan echoed Fleischer in saying his first top-3 finish was a big boost for everyone – athletes, coaches and support staff.
The podium also boosted Fleischer into the top 15 racers for the start of next season.
“It was a good race,” Egan said. “Chad’s worked hard – he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in.”
The women’s super G, which was scheduled for Thursday, was postponed until today.
Aspen’s Katie Monahan, who collected her first-ever World Cup podium finish last week with a third-place finish in Switzerland, will compete in the race.
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