Eberharter Wins World Cup Finale

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Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria March 6, 2002 (AP)--After a momentary lapse at the Winter Olympics, Stephan Eberharter regained his stranglehold on the downhill Wednesday, winning the season's World Cup finale.

Eberharter, one of the few skiers able to make up time at the bottom half of the softening piste, charged down the Weltcupstrecke Zauchensee course in 1 minute, 41.80 seconds.

Switzerland's Ambrosi Hoffmann climbed the first World Cup podium of his career, finishing runnerup in 1:42.07.

Austria's Hannes Trinkl timed 1:42.26 while his teammate Fritz Strobl, the Olympic champion, finished just shy of the podium in 1:42.29.

The victory was particularly sweet for Eberharter, who had dominated the discipline all season but settled for bronze behind Austrian teammate Strobl and Norway's Lasse Kjus at Salt Lake City.

Eberharter finished the season with five downhill victories _ one more than his exalted teammate Hermann Maier had in 2001.

Maier has been sidelined since a horrific motorcycle crash last summer.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press