Rahlves fourth in Val Gardena super-G
December 19, 2003
Daron Rahlves came ever so close to a career first super-G podium Friday, but had to settle for fourth in the opening Val Gardena, Italy, super-G.
Norway’s Lasse Kjus broke up an Austrian stranglehold to take the win over 30th-running Stephan Eberharter of Austria, with teammate Hermann Maier third. Rahlves tied with Austrian Hans Knauss, 0.84 seconds back from Kjus.
OLN will televise highlights in its coverage of the downhill tonight at 5 MST. You can watch same-day webcast coverage today at alpinerace.com.
It was the fourth time in Rahlves career he has finished fourth in a World Cup super-G, despite winning the 2001 World Championship.
“It’s definitely a good start for me in super-G,” said Rahlves. “My best in World Cup is fourth – I’ve won World Championships but never been on the podium in World Cup. I know I’m skiing good enough to do it. Tactically, I just have to keep my head on straight and execute it well.
“Super-G’s the toughest event because you get just one look at it and you have to determine how much you can push yourself on the line. You have to be right on that fine line. That’s kind of what makes this event the toughest to be consistently fast. You see guys like Eberharter and Maier doing it every time, but it’s tough.”
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World Cup newcomer Bryon Friedman, of Park City, Utah, was 24th, coming out of the 62nd start position. It was Friedman’s third straight point-scoring speed event and his first in super-G Bode Miller was 17th – still off the pace he wants to set – but his best speed event of the season.
“I made some stupid mistakes,” said Miller. “I felt I was going on the right line. But I was going too direct on the top and lost some speed. From the Ciaslat to the finish, I thought I skied pretty well, but I still lost a lot of time. I’ll look at the video and figure it out.
“Daron skied really well. It’s a great hill for both of us. I should have done better than I did, but it’s great to see that Daron performed.”
It was almost an historic win for Kjus, whose last World Cup victory came in the Kitzbuehel combined in 2001. The Norwegian star won in 1 minute, 36.94 seconds to hold off a hard-charging Eberharter by just one-tenth of a second. It was only the second career super-G World Cup win by Kjus, the last coming in Vail in 1995.
Rahlves and Knauss tied at 0.84 back from Kjus. Miller was 1.79 back.
The finish boosted Rahlves into 11th in the overall World Cup standings and eighth in super-G. Miller stands eighth in the overall with 277 points to 465 for Maier, who has a 107-point margin over Knauss. Kjus moved into third.
Rahlves and company now turn their attention to the Saslong Classic downhill Saturday. Rahlves was first and fourth in two training runs this week, while rookie teammate Friedman-was fourth and second. Miller will also be in the starting lineup.
Earlier this week Miller had talked about possibly skipping the downhill.
“I felt good in my last training run, so I’m skiing the downhill,” he said. “It’s a big ski race here and you have to have your skis going fast.”
Race time is 12:15 p.m. European time (4:15 a.m. MST) today.