Gerg Edges Kildow for SG Win


ST. MORITZ, Switzerland Dec. 21, 2004 (AP by Erica Bulman)-German veteran Hilde Gerg won her 20th World Cup race Tuesday, taking the super giant slalom on a course that has given her trouble in the past.

Gerg, known as ``Wilde Hilde'' by German fans, completed the Engiadina course in 1 minute, 14.95 seconds, for her second victory this season and first at the posh Swiss resort.

American Lindsey Kildow dropped to second after Gerg overtook her, finishing in 1:15.32 and Germany's Maria Riesch was third in 1:15.40.

The Engiadina course, site of the 2003 world championships, had often given Gerg fits. At the worlds, she finished 20th in the super-G and 14th in the downhill. In the downhill last year, Renate Goetschl edged her, while in 2000-01, Gerg finished third.

``It's a big satisfaction to win my 20th World Cup victory here,'' Gerg said. ``I've had such bad luck here in the past. It's a big win for me. I defeated the best girls and I defeated the hill.''

Gerg claimed the World Cup super-G titles in 1997 and 2002.

Kildow, who won a downhill and was third in a super-G in Lake Louise two weeks ago, lost the victory after taking too straight a line in the lower section.

``Coming into the last section I made a few mistakes, I went too straight and lost speed,'' Kildow said. ``For the most part my run was good expect that mistake. Barring that one mistake I would have been first place.''

Riesch, who missed a month of training with a leg injury, was initially aiming to make her return in Val d'Isere, France, but the two downhills scheduled there last weekend were canceled because of a snow storm. However, she got valuable training and confidence instead.

``My first race back. It's a relief for me to succeed right away,'' Riesch said. ``I attacked but made lots of mistakes so to finish third in such conditions is quite satisfying.

``Coming into Val d'Isere I was unsure I was ready to come back. But there was no pain and I trained there and suddenly everything started to go really well. It's almost a miracle.''

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