Nyberg Scantily Wins Birds of Prey SG


Beaver Creek, CO, Dec. 3, 2000--By a margin of just .03 seconds, Sweden's Fredrik Nyberg won a World Cup Sunday at the Ernst & YoungBirds of Prey super G at Beaver Creek.

ESPN will air coverage of the race Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. EST.

Nyberg took the victory with a time of 1:21.18 with Austrian Christoph Gruber just behind in 1:21.21. Norway's Kenneth Sivertsen took thirdin 1:21.65.

"It's not often that you can ski the line the way you inspect it, and that was the feeling today," said Nyberg.

It was the first career victory in World Cup super G for Nyberg. His previous best was a second last season at Lake Louise.

Surprisingly, there were no Austrians on the podium until Gruber crossed the finish line out of the 30th start spot. Norwegians Kjetil AndreAamodt and Lasse Kjus were in second and third, respectively, until Gruber knocked Kjus off the podium and into a fifth place finish.Sivertsen, who started 32nd, took a top-3 finish away from Aamodt, who finished fourth.

Austrian Hermann Maier, who won Saturday's downhill, did not like the course set and settled for a sixth place finish. Maier had won seventimes on the Birds of Prey course since it opened in '97. Today's sixth was just the second time since '97 that Maier was not on the podium.He was ninth in the first downhill ever run on the course in Dec. of '97.

Vail's Chad Fleischer was the top American finisher in 17th, recording a 1:23.04 on the technical and steep course. Fleischer was also thetop U.S. skier in Saturday's downhill as he placed 13th.

"Everyone was making a lot of really big mistakes," said Fleischer. "When everyone's making mistakes like that, because it's (the course)so tough, it just leaves it completely wide open. I was just off-rhythm. At the beginning, I was a little too uptight and went after it a little toomuch."

Teammate Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA) skied off course on the top section after catching an edge and skiing through a gate panel.

"I knew it was a difficult spot," said Rahlves, who finished last season with a pair of World Cup downhill wins in Kvitfjell, Norway. "I wasn'tlooking ahead and when you don't look ahead, things come at you really quick and you get all blind."

Several skiers did not take kindly to the top section of the course, which was a very technical and turny set.

"The top part, I don't really like that kind of setting," said Rahlves. "To me, it was just a little too tight. I like more wide open, fast turns. Thesecond half of the course is where I was gonna shine today. I missed the best part of the whole course."

Jakub Fiala (Breckenridge, CO), who started 49th, had one of the most spectacular crashes of the week as he caught an edge at the top ofa jump, spun a 180 while airborne, landed on his back and slid headfirst for 30 yards. Fiala was taken to a Vail Valley Hospital after therace. He suffered a mild to moderate (grade two) concussion and had some amnesia and blurred vision. Fiala also complained aboutpain in his lower left leg, so an x-ray will be done to rule out a tibia fracture. Fiala will most likely leave the hospital after the tests but willneed to be watched for 24 hours.

The Cafe de Colombia World Cup visits Val d'Isere, France Dec. 9-10 for a downhill and a giant slalom. The men run a slalom in Sestriere,Italy Dec. 11.