SCHLADMING, Austria (News Release - Jan. 28) Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) did a complete somersault midway through his second run of a night slalom in wretched conditions Tuesday while Finland's Kalle Palander won his second straight World Cup race. His time was an unofficial 1:45.41 with Beni Raich of Austria second, .02 ahead of Norwegian Hans-Petter Buraas. Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) was 17th and Chip Knight (Stowe, VT) 23rd.
On a day of a brutal conditions, rain during the day turned to snow as the race began in 30-degree weather under the lights, the courses didn't have much of a chance. Palander, who won Sunday's slalom in Kitzbuehel, had a two-second lead over Austrian Rainer Schoenfelder and out-lasted everything as he rolled to his victory in 1:45.41.
Benjamin Raich of Austrian was second in 1:46.72, finishing .02 ahead of Norwegian Hans Petter Buraas.
As conditions throughout the second run, Schlopy, who tied for 20th in the first run, ran into problems on the lower half of the course and finished in 1:48.36. Knight's time was 1:49.14.
Miller, sixth in the first run, was .14 ahead at the interval on his second run but hit a rut. That all but stopped him. He regained some momentum, only to hit another rut which pitched him through a complete somersault and out of the course, scuttling any chance he had to reclaim the World Cup points lead from Austrian Stephan Eberharter. Tuesday night's race - before the traditional screaming thousands of spectators with Austrians buttressed by Croatians howling for defending World Cup slalom champ Ivicia Kostelic, who was fourth - was the last before the World Championships open on the weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
"I felt good and was feeling really smooth," Miller said, "and then, all of a sudden, I hit that first rut. It almost dropped me and I jammed my ankle, and then the next one flipped me over."
The World Championships open Sunday with men's super G and women's super G Monday. Heading into the championships, Eberharter - who normally doesn't run slalom except possibly for combined - leads Miller by eight points in the overall standings, 965-957.
FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Schladming, AUT Jan. 28
Men's Slalom (Night)
1. Kalle Palander, Finland, 1:45.41
2. Bejamin Raich, Austria, 1:46.72
3. Hans Petter Buraas, Norway, 1:46.74
4. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:46.97
5. Manfred Pranger, Austria, 1:47.15
17. Erik Schlopy, Park City, UT, 1:48.36
23. Chip Knight, Stowe, VT, 1:49.14
Did not qualify for 2nd run: Jesse Marshall, Pittsfield, VT
DNF-2: Bode Miller, Franconia, NH
DNF-1: Tom Rothrock, Cashmere, WA
World Cup Standings
Men's Overall (28 races)
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 965 points
2. Miller, 958
3. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 776
4. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 537
5. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 532
9. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, CA, 495
39. Schlopy, 184
43. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 136
45. Knight, 130
70. Jake Fiala, Frisco, CO, 70
77. Rothrock, 51
91T. Scott Macartney, Redmond, WA, 32
103T. Thomas Vonn, Newburgh, NY, 24
129T. Dane Spencer, Boise, ID, 9
Men's SL (7 races)
1. Kostelic, 478
2. Palander, 378
3. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 320
4. Raich, 275
5. Pranger, 248
11. Knight, 130
16. Miller, 104
27. Schlopy, 76
30. Rothrock, 51