Austrian Eberharter Wins First DH of the Season


Val d'Isere, France Dec. 8, 2001 (AP)--Austrian Stephan Eberharter, continuingto provide leadership in the absence of the injured Hermann Maier, madeit two wins in two days Saturday as he ignored a lengthy course delay towin the first downhill of the season. World Cup rookie Marco Sullivan(Tahoe City, CA) earned his first World Cup points in 27th place andJake Fiala (Frisco, CO) tied for 28th.

Outdoor Life Network will carry coverage of the race Monday at 9 p.m.EST.

Eberharter, who tied for the third-fastest time at the top split, tookcharge after that to overtake Italy's Klaus Sulzenbacher by .17, winningin 1:59.89. Michael Walchhofer, running 40th, was third in the field of64 with a time of 2:00.45 as three skiers from outside the first 30 werein the top 10 and seven finished in the top 20. Eberharter'sback-to-back victories have boosted him into the World Cup points leadwith 280; he was second in the season-opening GS at Soelden, Austria, inOctober but doesn't run slalom, so he didn't come to the USA for the twoslaloms during the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational Nov. 25-26.

Sullivan, the Nor Am overall, downhill and super G champion from a yearago, started 32nd and finished in 2:02.58. Fiala's time was 2:02.60 ashe came out of the 49th start. Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), skiing 56th,finished 32nd.

"Yeah, I got a couple of points," a smiling Sullivan said. "There weresome guys from the back who punched in there. I wasn't super pleasedwith my run, but I'm glad to get the points, get that first popintsout of the way."

The sunny, 20-degree weather changed during the course of the race asSwiss racer Silvano Beltrametti, who was third behind Eberharter Fridayin the opening super G of the season, crashed after posting the firstfirst-split time and had to helicoptered off the mountain.

"It was nice and sunny but after noon it gets dark on the lower part ofthe run," Sullivan said, "and when we were running, it was dark andbumpy. It was pretty gnarly."

The men finish their visit to Val d'Isere Sunday with a giant slalom andthen move on to Madonna diCampiglio, Italy, for a slalom Monday night.