Sestriere, Italy, Dec. 12, 2000--Olympic champion Hans-Petter Buraas of Norway made a great recovery midway through his second run Monday night and thensurvived a third, fourth, fifth and sixth chance (to lose) to win his first World Cup slalom under the lights. No Americans reached the second run.
Buraas, the Olympic gold medalist in Nagano but never better than second (three times) on the World Cup circuit, was fourth in the first run. In his second run, hecame down immediately after Heinz Schilchegger of Austria and thought he was in second place behind Schilchegger, nearly a half-second back with three skiers togo.
Then Benjamin Raich of Austria - third in the first run - skied out. Mario Matt, another Austrian - who had been second, skied out. And then first-run leaderSebastien Amiez of France went out. But the drama wasn't over.
It looked for a while like it was Schilchegger, Buraas and Kilian Albrecht of Austria on the podium.
And then race officials DQ'd Schilchegger. Buraas was declared the winner in 1:52.75. Albrecht, who second in a Chevy Truck Super Series slalom behind ErikSchlopy (Park City, UT) a month ago at Loveland Valley Ski Area in Colorado, reached his first World Cup podium with a time of 1:53.04. Pierrick Bourgeat ofFrance was third in 1:53.99, just .01 ahead of Japan's Kiminobu Kimura with Florian Seer - yet another Austrian - in fifth place (1:53.04).
When Schilchegger reached the finish, he didn't show any euphoria about taking the lead. Race officials checked and re-checked race videotapes beforedisqualifying him.
"I have to accept their decision," Schilchegger - who won the first slalom of the season during the Chevy Truck America's Opening Nov. 19 at Park City, Utah - toldreporters. "I wasn't sure if I had straddled or skied out; that's why I continued." Officials also fined him 990 Swiss francs for continuing to race.
In the first run, Sacha Gros (Vail, CO) was 41st with Chip Knight (New Canaan, CT) 42nd and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) 44th. Schlopy and Tom Rothrock(Cashmere, WA) were DNFs.
The men's tour resumes Saturday in Val d'Isere, France, where a downhill and giant slalom - picked up because of poor snow in Val Gardena and neighboringAlta Badia, Italy, are to be run Saturday and Sunday.
CAFE de COLOMBIA WORLD CUP Sestriere, ITA - Dec. 11 (Night) Men's Slalom 1. Hans-Petter Buraas, Norway, 1:52.75 2. Kilian Albrecht, Austria, 1:53.04 3. Pierrick Bourgeat, France, 1:53.99 4. Kiminobu Kimura, Japan, 1:54.00 5. Florian Seer, Austria, 1:54.04 6. Kentaro, Minigawa, Japan, 1:54.14 7. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, norway, 1:54.17 8. Jure Kosir, Slovenia, 1:54.20 9. Kalle Palander, Finland, 1:54.22 10. Matjaz Vrhovnik, Slovenia, 1:54.41 11. Michael Von Gruenigen, Switzerland, 1:54.58 12. Andrej Miklavc, Slovenia, 1:54.62 13. Alain Baxter, Great Britain, 1:54.74 14. Rene Mlekuz, Slovenia, 1:54.81 15. Harald Christian Strand Nilsen, Norway, 1:55.09 16. Sergio Bergamelli, Italy, 1:55.10 17. John Moulder-Brown, Great Britain, 1:55.30 18. Christian Mayer, Austria, 1:55.44 19. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 1:55.63 20. Fabrizio Tescari, Italy, 1:55.90 21. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:56.99 - Did not qualify: Sacha Gros, Vail, Colo.; Chip Knight, New Canaan, Conn.; Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H. DNF-1: Erik Schlopy, Park City, Utah; Tom Rothrock, Cashmere, Wash. -- Cafe de Colombia World Br>Men's Overall (10 races) 1. Hermann Maier, Austria, 616 2. (tie) Kjus and Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 409 each 4. Fredrik Nyberg, Sweden, 297 5. Andreas Schifferer, Austria, 288 6. Von Gruenigen, 242 7. Heinz Schilchegger, Austria, 232 8. Aamodt, 231 9. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 198 10. Josef Strobl, Austria, 192 11. Christoph Gruber, Austria. 164 12. Hans Knauss, Austria, 155 13. Mayer, 152 14. Buraas, 150 15. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 146 - 21. Chad Fleischer, Vail, Colo., 101 22. Schlopy, 89 29. Miller and Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, Calif., 75 each 68. Casey Puckett, Aspen, Colo., 20 79. Chris Puckett, Boulder, Coolo., 14 86. Dane Spencer, Boise, Idaho, 11 102. Brett Fischer, Winter Park, Colo., 2 -- Men's Slalom (2 races) 1. Buraas, 150 2. Schilchegger, 100 3. Aamodt, 96 4. (tie) Albrecht and Mario Matt, both Austria, 80 each 6. Seer, 74 7. Vrhovnik, 71 8. Bourgeat, 60 9. Kosir, 56 10. Kimura, 50 - 33. Schlopy, 10