Mario Matt wins World Cup slalom |

Mario Matt wins World Cup slalom

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Mario Matt of Austria celebrates at the finish line after winning an alpine ski men's World Cup slalom race, in Adelboden, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)

ADELBODEN, Switzerland ” Austrian Mario Matt won the men’s World Cup slalom Sunday and Americans Ted Ligety and Bode Miller failed to finish.

Matt, a slalom specialist, finished with a total time of 1 minute, 48.45 seconds at the Kuonisbaergli course, 0.10 seconds ahead of teammate Benjamin Raich. Felix Neureuther of Germany was third, 0.14 seconds back.

Ligety, who crashed on Saturday, had tied for third in the first run in soft snow conditions. He straddled a gate and went out in the second run.

“I think my approach was right-on, but in the slalom you’re always on a line of millimeters,” Ligety said.

Miller made an error at one of the first gates, then lost his footing a second time and failed to finish the first run. On Saturday, he missed a gate during the first run of the giant slalom.

“It’s a little disappointing,” said Miller’s coach, John McBride. “It’s not like he did anything drastically wrong, he just didn’t execute.”

Jimmy Cochran was the only American to finish. He came in eighth, 1.27 seconds behind the leader.

“I’m thrilled,” Cochran said. “But I’m pretty bummed for Ted. He had a good first (run) and hopefully he’ll keep his chin up.”

McBride said Miller would be a contender at the World Cup races in Wengen later this week if the conditions are good. The warm weather is forecast to continue until at least the middle of the week.

Several top contenders missed out on a second run Sunday in a repeat of hazardous snow conditions that caused a third of the field to crash out of the giant slalom event the day before.

Marc Berthod and Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland, who came first and second in the giant slalom, both went out in the first run. Kalle Palander of Finland, who is sixth in the overall World Cup standings, also fell victim to the slushy conditions.

Rainer Schoenfelder of Austria and Manfred Moelgg of Italy finished tied for fourth, 0.69 back.

Raich now leads the slalom World Cup with 216 points and the overall standings with 640 points.

“It was a really good second run, I was aggressive on my skis and it worked,” Raich said.

Switzerland’s Didier Cuche, who failed to finish the slalom Sunday, is second overall with 525 points. Albrecht is third with 446 points.

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