Matt wins World Cup slalom
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia – World champion Mario Matt won his second straight World Cup slalom on Sunday, and Benjamin Raich finished second to reclaim the lead in the overall standings.Matt, who trailed Raich after the opening leg by 0.04 seconds, raced down the twisting track in a combined time of 1 minute, 40.64 seconds. Raich made it an Austrian 1-2 finish, 0.61 behind Matt. Manfred Moelgg of Italy was third, 0.96 back.”It was a good race for me,” said Matt, who also won the slalom in February at the world championships in Are, Sweden, and won the previous World Cup slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. “It was a very difficult course.”Bode Miller, who now has completed two straight World Cup slaloms after failing to finish any for more than a year, was 23rd in 1:43.89. The only other American to finish both legs was Ted Ligety, who was 25th.Miller also finished both runs of a World Cup slalom on Jan. 30 in Schladming, Austria, but finished last in 25th place, almost 10 seconds off the pace. He did not get World Cup points because his time was too far behind the winner’s.”It’s been a long time since I last finished a race,” Miller said. “I think the last time I won points in the slalom was over a year ago. Sometimes you have to chip away at a result, put in the work before you can come up with something.”Raich, who won Saturday’s giant slalom for the third straight year, moved closer to defending his overall title by overtaking Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway at the top of the standings. Svindal, who has not finished better than sixth in a slalom this season, crashed out on the first run.Raich now leads the overall standings with 945 points, while Svindal is second with 868. Didier Cuche of Switzerland is third with 788. Miller and Matt are tied for fourth with 664.The victory lifted Matt atop the slalom standings with 520 points, 15 ahead of Raich. Jens Byggmark of Sweden, who had been leading the standings, dropped to third with 445 points.
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