Eberharter wins Chamonix DH
Stephan Eberharter of Austria skied first Saturday and no one touched him as he collected his first win of the season, winning the Arlberg Kandahar downhill in 1 minute, 59.08 seconds with Bryon Friedman grabbing his first World Cup top-10 in a three-way tie for 10th place.
Daron Rahlves was 15th.
It’s the 26th win of his glittering career for Eberharter, 34, the overall and downhill/super-G World Cup champion the last two seasons. Lasse Kjus of Norway was second in 1:59.39 – the lone non-Austrian in the first eight racers – with Michael Walchhofer third at 1:59.83.
Bode Miller finished 34th and Jake Fiala of Frisco 53rd.
McBride said Rahlves took too much air off one jump and that set him up poorly for the next gate, so it cost him time. Miller skied the top well, according to McBride, but kept losing time all the way after being fourth-fastest through the third interval. Fiala skied well “but never found any speed,” McBride said.
The men have a slalom today, which – added to the downhill – will produce the first combined event of the season. Friedman and Miller are in the combined field, too.
Lindsey Kildow finishes 22nd
Austrian Renate Goetschl earned the 30th World Cup victory of her career Saturday, capturing a downhill by nearly a half-second over teammate, Michaela Dorfmeister, and Germany’s Hilde Gerg, who tied for second place.
Kirsten Clark was fourth and Caroline Lalive of Steamboat Springs fifth, leading four U.S. skiers into the top 25.
First points in ’04 for healthy Ludlow
Libby Ludlow, hobbled at the start of the season with an ankle injury suffered before the World Cup opener in late October, picked up her first points of the season, finishing 18th and giving the U.S. Ski Team 11 points this season. Lindsey Kildow was part of a three-way tie for 22nd place in the 30-degree weather and Jonna Mendes was 45th.
Nearly a foot of snow fell at the top of the course overnight into Friday and forced organizers to cancel the second training run. After re-grooming, the course had soft snow Saturday and an overcast sky created tricky visibility.
“I’m definitely psyched with it,” Clark said. “There was quite a bit of soft snow, so for me being in there in soft snow is great. It’s definitely a technical course with a lot of rolls and terrain. I would’ve liked to race in conditions like we had on our training run, but I’m still happy with this.”
Lalive skied 14th and held first until Clark, starting 26th, came down and bumped her, triggering changes at the top of the leaderboard.
Gerg, running 27th, nudged Clark by 0.1 seconds and Dorfmeister skied 28th and tied Gerg. Then came Goetschl, who took the win.
Coach anxious for another podium
“It was all right. The girls, for sure, skied well. I thought we had a podium, maybe two,” said downhill/super-G head coach Alex Hoedlmoser. “They did a good job.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.