Raich Wins World Cup Slalom; Miller Fourth

Raich 1 27 04

Tue January 27, 2004 18:17 EST

Raich Wins World Cup Slalom

SCHLADMING, Austria, Jan. 27 2004 (AP) -- Benjamin Raich of Austria won a World Cup slalom Tuesday, and Bode Miller finished fourth after holding the first-leg lead.

Raich rallied from third place to cover the lighted course in 1 minute, 41.67 seconds and reclaimed the lead in the overall standings.

Italy's Manfred Moelgg was second in 1:42.24. World Cup slalom leader Kalle Palander of Finland, winner of three slaloms this season, was third in 1:42.25.

Raich is the only skier with three wins on the Planai course, considered the most difficult slalom course on the World Cup circuit.

"This is the greatest day in my life," Raich said. "It's a dream come true. I cannot believe I have actually won, although I knew I could do it."

Miller, seeking to end a two-year victory drought, was timed in 1:42.37.

The American was forced to wait 12 minutes in the start hut before his run after Ivica Kostelic crashed on the course and was taken the down the slope in a sled.

"In slalom you are always bound to make a mistake and you can drop from first to last," Miller said. "It's hard to do, especially here."

Miller has not won a slalom since his triumph on this course exactly two years ago.

Though he has dominated the giant slalom, Miller has failed to finish four of the season's six slalom races. He went out in three speed races in Beaver Creek, Colo., and veered off course in a giant slalom in Flachau.

Raich leads the overall standings with 918 points, overtaking Lasse Kjus of Norway (824). Miller (751) moved into third place, going past Hermann Maier (732).

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