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CHAMONIX, France (Jan. 10) – Stephan Eberharter of Austria skied first Saturday and no one touched him as he collected his first win of the season, winning the Arlberg Kandahar downhill in 1:59.08 with Bryon Friedman grabbing his first World Cup top-10 in a three-way tie for 10th place. Daron Rahlves was 15th.
It’s the 26th win of his glittering career for Eberharter, 34, the overall and downhill/super G World Cup champion the last two seasons. Lasse Kjus of Norway was second in 1:59.39 — the lone non-Austrian in the first eight racers – with Michael Walchhofer third at 1:59.83.
Friedman, skiing 28th, had been second and third in the two training runs and carried that confidence into the race. His time was 2:00.40 with Rahlves 15th in 2:00.46. Bode Miller finished 34th and Jake Fiala 53rd.
“‘Free Dog’ was ‘Fantastic Dog’ today,” said DH/SG Head Coach John McBride. “He saved our day a little bit…”
“This course is almost 80 percent gliding. It’s so flat once you get off the top, it’s all gliding…from maybe one-quarter of the way down,” McBride said. “Bryon’s always been a good glider and he’s just taking his results and keeping his confidence as he skis well in training and then executes in the races. He’s steadily gained in his training runs and keeps looking forward.”
He said Rahlves took too much air off one jump and that set him up poorly for the next gate, so it cost him time. Miller skied the top well, according to McBride, but kept losing time all the way after being fourth-fastest through the third interval. Fiala skied well “but never found any speed,” McBride said.
The men have a slalom Sunday, which — added to the downhill — will produce the first combined “event” of the season. Friedman and Miller are in the combined field, too.