Jerman gives Slovenia first downhill win |

Jerman gives Slovenia first downhill win

Nesha Starvecic
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
U.S. racer Bode Miller clears a gate of the Alpine Ski World Cup men's downhill, in Garmisch- Partenkirchen, Germany on Friday. (Marco Trovati/AP)

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany ” Andrej Jerman gave Slovenia its first World Cup downhill win Friday, mastering a difficult course in mild weather.

Jerman covered the Kandahar course in 1 minute, 56.82 seconds to beat Hans Grugger of Austria by 0.22. Erik Guay of Canada was third in 1:57.26.

Jerman took advantage of an early start, when the course was still holding up in warm temperatures. Later starters and several top-ranked skiers were well off the pace.

American Bode Miller did not place in the top 20. He finished 28th and Austrian Hermann Maier, who celebrated the first win of his storied career here 10 years ago, was 29th. American Steven Nyman finished 12th, one spot ahead of teammate Scott Macartney.

Austrian Michael Walchhofer crashed hard in a curve at the bottom of the course and was taken to a local hospital with possible cracked ribs. World Cup downhill leader Didier Cuche of Switzerland was already on the course when Walchhofer went flying into the safety netting. Cuche had to restart, and finished 20th.

“The course was getting bad and soft, but I had no problems,” said Jerman, who finished 17th in downhill last weekend at the World Championship in Are, Sweden.

Slovenia has produced a number of excellent technical skiers and winners in slalom and giant slalom races but had no notable results in downhill at World Cup races. Jerman’s previous best finishes on the circuit were a pair of fourth places, one of them in a combined.

The Friday race replaced a downhill from Kitzbuehel, Austria, that had to be called off in January because of bad conditions. Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday in this southern German resort, with a slalom to follow on Sunday.

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