Mayer Tops Fellow Austrian Maier

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Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, Dec. 22 (AP)--Christian Mayer beat heralded Austrian teammate Hermann Maier today in the giant slalom for his first victory of the World Cup season.

Mayer, whose previous best result this season had been fifth Tuesday in the slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, stormed down the fast, perfectly prepared course in a two-round aggregate time of 2 minutes, 25.83 seconds.

Maier, the leader in the World Cup overall standings, was next in 2:22.13.

Mayer was only in seventh place after round one, but a flawless second run catapulted him to the top.

Another Austrian, Benjamin Raich, finished third, in 2;26.15, underlining the host's nation's domination in Alpine ski events this season.

``It was a great run,'' Mayer said after the race. ``But I knew I'd be fast, I already did well in the training.''

Mayer said the victory was a ``just one,'' because he was in the lead of the giant slalom in Val d'Isere two weeks ago when the race was canceled due to bad weather conditions and rescheduled to Saalbach.

``Mayer's second run was simply flawless, I had no chance,'' Maier said.

Switzerland's Super-G specialist, Michael von Grueningen came home fourth, clocking 2:26.54 while Austria's Andreas Schifferer finished fifth in 2:26.56.

Copyright (c) 1999 The Associated Press