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Val D’isere, France, Dec. 10, 2001 — Austrian Stephan Eberharter, continuing to provide leadership in the absence of the injured Hermann Maier, made it two wins in two days on Saturday as he ignored a lengthy course delay to win the first downhill of the season. World Cup rookie Marco Sullivan of Tahoe City, CA earned his first World Cup points in 27th place and Jake Fiala of Frisco, CO tied for 28th.
Outdoor Life Network will carry coverage of the race Monday at 9 p.m. EST.
Eberharter, who tied for the third-fastest time at the top split, took charge on the lower sections of the course to overtake Italy’s Klaus Sulzenbacher by .17. Michael Walchhofer, running 40th, was third in the field of 64 with a time of 2:00.45. Three skiers who started after 30 others had already run were in the top 10 and seven finished in the top 20. Eberharter’s back-to-back victories have boosted him into the World Cup points lead with 280; he was second in the season-opening GS at Soelden, Austria, in October but doesn’t run slalom, so he didn’t come to the USA for the two slaloms during the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational in November.
Sullivan, the Nor Am overall, downhill and super G champion from a year ago, started 32nd and finished in 2:02.58. Fiala’s time was 2:02.60 as he came out of the 49th start. Bode Miller of Franconia, NH started 56th and finished 32nd.
“Yeah, I got a couple of points,” a smiling Sullivan said. “There were some guys from the back who punched in there. I wasn’t super pleased with my run, but I’m glad to get the points, get that first points out of the way.”
The sunny, 20-degree weather changed during the course of the race as Swiss racer Silvano Beltrametti, who was third behind Eberharter Friday in the opening super G of the season, crashed after posting the fastest first-split time and had to be airlifted off the mountain.
“It was nice and sunny but after noon it gets dark on the lower part of the run,” Sullivan said, “and when we were running, it was dark and bumpy. It was pretty gnarly.”
The men finish their visit to Val d’Isere Sunday with a giant slalom and then move on to Madonna diCampiglio, Italy, for a slalom on Monday night.
CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Val d’Isere, FRA – Dec. 8
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 1:59.89
2. Kurt Sulzenbacher, Italy, 2:00.06
3. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 2:00.45
4. Ambrosi Hoffmann, Switzerland, 2:00.48
5. Franco Cavegn, Switzerland, 2:00.72
-27. Marco Sullivan, Tahoe City, Calif., 2:02.58
28. Jake Fiala, Frisco, Colo., 2:02.60
32. Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H., 2:02.76
34. Chad Fleischer, Vail, Colo., 2:02.88
39. Daron Rahlves, Sugar Bowl, Calif., 2:03.07
DNF: Wisi Betschart, Heavenly, Calif.