Schoenfelder wins Loveland slalom

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GEORGETOWN, Colo. (AP) -- Austrian Reinar Schoenfelder overtook first-run leader Tom Rothrock of the United States and beat him by a tenth of a second Saturday in NorAm Cup slalom race.

Third in the event was Alain Baxter of Great Britain, who was stripped of his Olympic slalom bronze medal for using a banned substance.

Schoenfelder, fourth after the first run, finished in a combined 1 minute, 39.07 seconds. Rothrock, of Cashmere, Wash., posted a two-run time of 1:39.17.

Baxter, stripped of the medal he won last winter at the Salt Lake City Games for using a cough inhaler, was timed in 1:39.25.

Schoenfelder said the only problem he encountered was the inconsistency of the snow, created by recent storms and injecting the snow Friday night with water to make it harder. He would have preferred it was done at least a night earlier to give it more time to set up.

"The main problem with the snow was the difference from gate to gate," he said. "At one gate it would be hard and the next it might be soft. It's not easy for the racers to find a good rhythm."

Rothrock, an Olympian who scored his first World Cup points last winter, admitted he was "super nervous" before the second run but was satisfied with his performance "psyched' by the result.

"This really gives me confidence for the season," he said.

Baxter thanked all who supported him after the medal loss and despite media speculation that he took more serious drugs.

"It's good to be back racing," he said.

Markus Eberle of Germany finished fourth, followed by Manfred Pranger of Austria. Bryon Friedman of Park City, Utah, was 16th; Brad Hogan of Holmes, N.Y., 21st, and Greg Hardy of Wardsboro, Vt., 22nd.

Another NorAm slalom is scheduled Sunday at Loveland Basin Ski Area before competitors go to Park City to resume the World Cup season Thursday. Men and women will compete there in America's Opening.

Nature Valley Alpine Cup
Loveland Basin Ski Area
Georgetown, CO - Nov. 16
Men's Slalom
1. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 1:39.07
2. Tom Rothrock, Cashmere, WA, 1:39.17
3. Alain Baxter, Great Britain, 1:39.25
4. Markus Eberle, Germany, 1:39.42
5. Manfred Pranger, Austria, 1:39.53
Other Americans in top 25:
16. Bryon Friedman, Park City, UT, 1:40.75
21. Brad Hogan, Holmes, NY, 1:41.65
22. Greg Hardy, Wardsboro, VT, 1:41.85