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Eberharter takes another at the Beav; Rahlves third, Sullivan, Miller score - Ski Mag

Eberharter takes another at the Beav; Rahlves third, Sullivan, Miller score

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BEAVER CREEK, CO (Dec. 7) - Daron Rahlves, laying aside the frustration oftraining problems and previous races, attacked from the back Saturday, finishingthird behind Austrian leader Stephan Eberharter in the Chevy Truck Birds of Preydownhill as he led three U.S. men into the top 10 of a World Cup downhill forthe first time in 30 years.

ESPN will broadcast coverage of the race Thursday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. EST.

It was the third straight victory ? and fourth of the season for Eberharter, whostarted 30th on the icy, hard track at Birds of Prey and sailed to victory in1:40.18, edging teammate Michael Walchhofer by one-tenth of a second. It's the20th win for the highly popular Eberharter, who waved a small flag from thevictory podium.

Rahlves, bumped back to the No. 37 start slot after being disqualified Fridayfor using an illegal knee support, said he decided to ignore the frustrationsand disappointments of the early season and just have some fun on the big hill.He finished in 1:40.56 with Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) sixth in 1:40.98and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) making it three straight speed-event top-10s ashe was eighth.

"Every single day," Rahlves said, "I'm getting better. I now have my Langes dialed in. The first day before training here I felt some great feelingsI hadn't felt in over a month. When you're feeling good, you have confidence. Imade some mistakes today, but my confidence carried me."

He saluted Eberharter's performance, noting, "What impresses me is how strongEberharter is skiing. Every race, he comes up with a great day. It's good,"according to Rahlves, "because there's really someone to work hard for and chaseand knock down, but it's going to be tough. But I've made a HUGE step in just one week."

Reflecting on the confusing post-training run disqualification of Rahlves,Norwegian ace Kjetil Andre Aamodt and several other Friday, the Californiansaid, "Yesterday it was like there's a new rule every day. I've taken the brunt of it. I got disqualified because I had a little bib modification, then Imissed my bib draw in Lake Louise and got bumped back, then I went out the nextday kind of angry. Today, I was just like, 'hey, it didn't work in the past solet's go out there today and do what I can.'

"The great thing," Rahlves said, "is that here at Beaver Creek on the Birds ofPrey the snow is SO good, it was just as good starting 37th as it would have been earlier."

The three-in-the-top-10 is the first since Mike Lafferty, Eric Poulsen and DaveCurrier at Kitzbuehel in 1972. The last time two American men finished in thetop 10 was 1984 when newly crowned Olympic DH champion Bill Johnson won and DougLewis was eighth in Whistler, B.C. While AJ Kitt, Tommy Moe and Kyle Rasmussen,Rahlves and Chad Fleischer (Vail, CO) have had outstanding results, somehow noneof them have finished together in a top 10, according to a Ski Team check ofrace results.

"I wanted to do it in front of the U.S. crowd," Rahlves said. "Americans havenever stepped up here and today was a big showing for all of us. Eric Schlopy did really well, then I went intoKitzubehel and got a third and a fourth, then in the 2001 Worlds I won. Now inthe downhill, things are really going.

"Bode started out the season and got things going, and it's great for me to stepup today and have the best result of our team this year. It's so early andthere's going to be a lot more results for all of us. I'm fired up for Marco,being from Tahoe and a good buddy of mine. Tahoe's really going to be going offtonight, I can tell you that.

WORLD CUP DOWNHILL
BEAVER CREEK, DEC. 7, 2002
Place, FIS code, Name, Nation, Time, FIS points
1 50024 EBERHARTER Stephan AUT 1:40.18 0.00
2 50041 WALCHHOFER Michael AUT 1:40.28 1.35
3 531040 RAHLVES Daron USA 1:40.56 5.12
4 50182 STROBL Fritz AUT 1:40.72 7.28
5 510030 CUCHE Didier SUI 1:40.98 10.78
6 533131 SULLIVAN Marco USA 1:41.04 11.59
7 420382 AAMODT Kjetil Andre NOR 1:41.09 12.26
8 532431 MILLER Bode USA 1:41.10 12.40
9 510767 HOFFMANN Ambrosi SUI 1:41.24 14.28
10 50221 TRINKL Hannes AUT 1:41.67 20.08
11 510727 DEFAGO Didier SUI 1:41.68 20.21
12 50753 KROELL Klaus AUT 1:41.75 21.16
12 190945 FOURNIER-BIDOZ Sebastien FRA 1:41.75 21.16
14 350032 BUECHEL Marco LIE 1:41.81 21.97
15 510035 CAVEGN Franco SUI 1:41.83 22.23
16 510478 KERNEN Bruno SUI 1:41.88 22.91
16 560332 JERMAN Andrej SLO 1:41.88 22.91
18 50043 FRANZ Werner AUT 1:41.89 23.04
19 50310 RZEHAK Peter AUT 1:41.93 23.58
20 420830 GROENVOLD Audun NOR 1:42.04 25.06
21 50695 BUDER Andreas AUT 1:42.24 27.76
22 290117 CATTANEO Luca ITA 1:42.28 28.30
23 530137 FIALA Jakub USA 1:42.29 28.43
23 40170 BEAR AJ AUS 1:42.29 28.43
25 510747 GRUENENFELDER Tobias SUI 1:42.34 29.11
26 190097 BURTIN Nicolas FRA 1:42.39 29.78
27 50360 KNAUSS Hans AUT 1:42.40 29.92
28 560302 SPAROVEC Gregor SLO 1:42.42 30.19
29 191116 DALCIN Pierre-Emmanuel FRA 1:42.45 30.59
30 292455 FILL Peter ITA 1:42.47 30.86
31 510476 HERRMANN Markus SUI 1:42.50 31.26
32 291641 SULZENBACHER Kurt ITA 1:42.56 32.07
33 510344 ZUEGER Daniel SUI 1:42.57 32.21
34 420681 SIVERTSEN Kenneth NOR 1:42.63 33.02
35 190930 DENERIAZ Antoine FRA 1:42.68 33.69
35 510756 VON WEISSENFLUH Rolf SUI 1:42.68 33.69
35 101375 LAVOIE Vincent CAN 1:42.68 33.69
38 500150 JAERBYN Patrik SWE 1:42.70 33.96
39 420470 KJUS Lasse NOR 1:42.73 34.36
40 500139 NYBERG Fredrik SWE 1:42.74 34.50
41 532490 MACARTNEY Scott USA 1:42.81 35.44
42 191415 BOTTOLLIER-LASQUIN Marc FRA 1:42.83 35.71
43 200249 STANKALLA Stefan GER 1:42.94 37.19
44 50831 GRAGGABER Thomas AUT 1:43.00 38.00
45 560187 PEN Peter SLO 1:43.03 38.41
45 420911 SOLBAKKEN Bjarne NOR 1:43.03 38.41
47 292056 GUFLER Michael ITA 1:43.16 40.16
48 291389 FISCHNALLER Roland ITA 1:43.19 40.56
49 191591 BERTRAND Yannick FRA 1:43.55 45.41
50 200705 RAUFFER Max GER 1:43.61 46.22
51 102263 GUAY Erik CAN 1:43.68 47.17
52 101850 HUME Jeff CAN 1:43.77 48.38
53 291990 BERBENNI Matteo ITA 1:43.85 49.46
54 290998 STAUDACHER Patrick ITA 1:44.21 54.31
55 220228 MICKEL Finlay GBR 1:44.85 62.93
56 291210 GROS Giorgio ITA 1:44.91 63.74
57 101330 GIANNELLI Mike CAN 1:44.93 64.01
58 560419 SKERBINEK Primoz SLO 1:45.25 68.32
Did not start 1st run:FATTORI Alessandro (ITA)
Did not finish 1st run:STROBL Josef (AUT), CRETIER Claude (FRA), HARI Konrad (SUI), PAULSEN Lasse (NOR), FRIEDMAN Bryon (USA), BRANCH Craig (AUS)

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