Austrians Dominate Madonna SL, U.S. Blanked


Madonna diCampiglio, Italy, Dec. 19, 2000--U.S. men were blanked Tuesday in a World Cup slalom in Madonna as Mario Matt led Austrians into the top three spots and four of the first five.

In sunny, 35-degree weather, Matt collected the third win of his brief career by nearly a half-second when first-run leaderHans-Petter Buraas, the '98 Olympic SL champion from Norway, hooked a tip early in his final run and failed to finish. Matt won in1:44.00 with Heinz Schilchegger second in 1:44.48 and Rainer Schoenfelder third (1:44.94).

The race had been shifted from Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, because of no snow. The closest U.S. racer to a first-run, top 30 breakthroughwas Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT), who was 34th.Chip Knight (New Canaan, CT) was 35th, Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) 37th and SachaGros (Vail, CO) 38th.

"It was a beautiful day - except for the results," said U.S. Coach Jesse Hunt. "I was disappointed with 'Schlopes' because he's beenskiing pretty good slalom. But it was a really tight set and it was really slick ice, just tough, tough conditions - and we didn't reactvery well."

The men race a giant slalom Thursday in Bormio, Italy, before heading home for the holidays. Schlopy, Miller, Knight, Thomas Vonn(Newburgh, NY) and Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA) will race.

Cafe de Colombia World Cup Madonna diCampiglio, ITA - Dec. 19

Men's Slalom (from Kranjska Gora, SLO)

1. Mario Matt, Austria, 1:44.00
2. Heinz Schilchegger, Austria, 1:44.48
3. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 1:44.94
4. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 1:45.11
5. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:45.45
6. Gaetan Llorach, France, 1:45.64
7. Pierrick Bourgeat, France, 1:45.67
8. Alain Baxter, Great Britain, 1:45.74
9. Ole Kristian Furuseth, Norway, 1:45.76
10. Markus Eberle, Germany, 1:45.79
Did not qualify for 2nd run: Erik Schlopy, Park City, Utah; Chip Knight, New Canaan, Conn.; Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H.; and Sacha Gros,Vail, Colo.