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Maier Leads Men's Downhill Training

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Val D’Isere, France Dec. 9 (AP)–Hermann Maier looked poised to continue his domination of the World Cup circuit Thursday, clocking the fastest time in a men’s downhill training session in preparation for Saturday’s race.

The powerful Austrian sped down the Oreiller-Killy course in 1 minute, 44.69 seconds, leading an Austrian sweep of the four fastest times.

Maier, who has already won a downhill, two giant slaloms and a super-G race this season, has won five of six races he’s entered.

Josef Strobl was second in 1:45.03 with Roland Assinger third in 1:45.20. Stephan Eberharter ranked fourth, .86 back.

Training was interrupted for 45 minutes when France’s Simon Bastelica crashed out and was airlifted off the course. The French skier was taken to the Val d’Isere medical center for treatment of minor injuries, which included a dislocated thumb, a bruised hip and scratches on his face.

After remaining under observation by the French team doctor at the hotel overnight, Bastelica was to be flown home Friday.

Copyright © 1999 The Associated Press