Reichelt leads Austrian super G sweep
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. ” Hannes Reichelt led an Austrian sweep at a World Cup super G on Monday, his second straight victory in the discipline on the Birds of Prey course.
Austrians captured five of the top six places while the best U.S. skier was Ted Ligety in 23rd place. Bode Miller was 30th.
The first skier out of the start hut, Reichelt charged down the sun-drenched course in 1 minute, 19.87 seconds, edging teammate Mario Scheiber by 0.02 seconds. Christoph Gruber was third, 0.21 off the winning pace.
“When you are starting No. 1, you know you aren’t going to get any radio reports from your teammates who went before you warning you about tricky parts,” Reichelt said. “So you don’t over-think things when you are starting first.
“I did a good inspection of the course before the race, and just told myself to do my best and ski what I saw in inspection.”
It was Reichelt’s second World Cup victory, his other coming in the same event on the same course in 2005.
Reichelt started early, in seventh, when he won the last time here, too.
Ligety, a technical specialist, was 1.09 back. This marked the first time since 2003 that Bode Miller failed to failed to finish among the top three at home. Miller, the reigning World Cup super G champion, said he hit a rock early on, leaving him no chance.
“That was my first run on these skis. I hit a rock. That’s bad luck,” Miller said. “Once I got to the third gate I realized that the whole edge was gone, completely folded.”
Switzerland’s Daniel Albrecht, winner of this week’s super-combi and giant slalom, broke the Austrian run by finishing fourth in 1:20.18. The 26th skier out of the start hut, Albrecht squeezed in front of Michael Walchhofer and 2006 overall champion Benjamin Raich, who shared fifth in 1:20.21.
The last time a nation swept a men’s World Cup event was 2006, with Austrians Hermann Maier, Klaus Kroell and Andreas Buder dominating a downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The last time it happened in a super G was when Walchhofer, Maier and Raich went 1-2-3 at Val Gardena, Italy, in 2005.
Beaver Creek marked the end of an early slump for the Austrians, who arrived winless at the resort before Walchhofer took Friday’s downhill.
Last year the New Hampshire skier won the downhill in Beaver Creek, and the season before that he won the GS and was runner-up in the downhill. In 2004, he clinched the downhill and came in second in the super G.
Steven Nyman, another favorite on the American team, failed to finish.
Albrecht overtook teammate Didier Cuche in the overall standings and now leads with 272 points after eight races. Cuche, who finished 11th, was in second with 259 points and Raich was third with 255.
Raich, known as more of a speed specialist, became the surprise leader of the super G standings with 125 points after two races. Reichelt sat second on 109, while overall World Cup champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway ” who saw his season come to a probable end after a bad crash in downhill training on Tuesday ” slipped to third with 100.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.