Kitzbuehel, Austria, Jan. 18, 2002 (AP by Erica Bulman)–World Cup overall leader Stephan Eberharter won a super-G Friday, finally mastering one of skiing’s most harrowing courses.
Super-G world champion Daron Rahlves of the United States finished fourth.
Eberharter won in 1 minute, 18.91 seconds, for his second victory in two World Cup super-G races this season. This was the first time in 12 years the Austrian won on the demanding Streif course.
“It’s beautiful to win in front of your home crowd on such a course as this,” he said. “When I was young I used to watch all the great stars like Franz Klammer race on this course, so it makes me really happy and proud today.”
Italy’s Alessandro Fattori was second in 1:19.32 for his best finish in the discipline. This season, he had been unable to break the top 15. Switzerland’s Didier Cuche, who won a downhill on this course in 1998, was third in 1:19.78.
Rahlves was timed in 1:19.85, narrowly missing a top-three finish. He was fourth in last year’s super-G and third in the downhill.
“It was a lot harder than I thought,” Rahlves said. “My line wasn’t as clean as it should have been but I had to be smart.”
U.S. teammate Thomas Vonn was disqualified after finishing a career-high 13th. Race officials said the metal plate under Vonn’s boot was too thick.
Eberharter had never won on a so-called classic course before this season. He now has four victories with earlier wins at Val d’Isere, France; Val Gardena, Italy; and Wengen, Switzerland.
Eberharter also has won three of six downhills this season. He leads the overall World Cup standing with 932 points. Bode Miller of the United States is second with 660, followed by Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway with 630.
Eberharter will be going for another downhill victory on Saturday.
“There was a lot of pressure today to win my first race here,” he said. “But now it’s done with and I have it. So tomorrow’s downhill should be better, less pressure. I should be more relaxed.”
CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Kitzbuehel, Austria – Jan. 18
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 1 minute, 18.91 seconds
2. Alessandro Fattori, Italy, 1:19.32
3. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:19.78
4. Daron Rahlves, United States, 1:19.85
5. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 1:19.89