January 7, 2007
ADELBODEN, SWITZERLAND – (USST News Bureau Release) – Marc Berthod of Switzerland electrified the home crowd Sunday, coming out of No. 60 start to win a World Cup slalom while Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) was victimized by a binding release in his second run and failed to finish.
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Berthod, whose first World Cup podium at a month ago at the VISA Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek, CO, when he was second in a super combined, laid down the fastest second run after finishing 27th in the first run. His two-run time of 1:47.42 put him .26 ahead of defending World Cup overall and reigning Olympic SL champion Benjamin Raich of Austria. (The World Cup slalom winner with the highest bib start is Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, who was No. 64 when he won at the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational in November 2001.)
Miller 11th in the first run and the only U.S. skier to reach the second run, came out of his right ski and failed to finish.
“Bode was skiing well, and he’s clearly back in form for slalom,” Men’s Head Coach Phil McNichol said. “He was rolling, and it was pretty exciting and then – boom! He’s done. He had a good first-run effort, skied it smart and fought well, so we can take some encouragement from that…
“It was raining first thing this morning and then it stopped as the first run got going and it was sunny by the end of the run although the last five, six, seven guys had some fog up top. These were wet, wet spring conditions with decaying ice under it in spots. It was not an easy day,” he said. “We had 14 guys from outside the first 30 racers make it into the second run.”
While no U.S. skier finished, McNichol said, “Hopefully we can take something from this. It was pretty cool to see this Berthod kid come out of that 60th spot and get into the second run. Maybe that will inspire some guys that they can do it, too.”
The men head to Wengen, Switzerland, for the 77th Lauberhorn downhill plus two other days of racing. They face a super combined Friday and a slalom Sunday in addition to the showcase DH Saturday on the World Cup’s longest downhill run.
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=AL&event_id=21721.