Eberharter Leads DH Training at Kitzbuehel

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Kitzbuehel, Austria Jan. 17, 2002 (AP)--Austria's Stephan Eberharter produced the fastest time in Thursday's final practice session ahead of a World Cup downhill race.

Eberharter charged down the circuit's most treacherous course in 1 minute, 56.02 seconds. Teammate Fritz Strobl was second-quickest in 1:56.32.

Switzerland's Didier Cuche crossed third, followed by another Austrian, Christian Greber.

Austrians have swept all the races here the past two seasons and three of the four downhills here since 1999.

Super-G world champion Daron Rahlves of the United States, third in the downhill and fourth in the super-G here last year, was 10th Thursday, 0.94 off the pace.

``The snow was a little grippier and I think the high humidity made the snow a little slower,'' Rahlves said. ``I really made some big mistakes on two turns and I paid for it. But I know putting together a good run I'll be right in there. It's a good feeling I've got right now. I have a good idea what I have to do.

``I think it's good today that I was pretty slow and not right in there because it's going to make me hunt a little more for that fast time on race day.''

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