Thu, Dec 23, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Canada's Grandi rains on Maier's parade in Austria

AP , FLACHAU, AUSTRIAAP, ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND

Canada's Thomas Grandi stole the show in Hermann Maier's home race.

With 15,000 Austrians willing a Maier triumph, the Canadian skied to his second giant slalom victory in three days on Tuesday after 12 years without a single World Cup win.

Grandi, second after the first round, posted a blazing second run and finished in a combined two-leg time of 2 minutes, 15.90 seconds, 0.15 seconds ahead of Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

American Bode Miller finished third, over a second behind, to extend his lead in the overall standings, while Maier crashed after setting the best intermediate time in the second run.

The Flachau-born reigning World Cup overall champion, 11th after the first leg, climbed back up to the gate he missed and crossed the line in 28th place, 10 seconds behind Grandi.

After more than a decade on the World Cup circuit, Grandi has finally established himself as a contender, taking the lead in the giant slalom standings and climbing to seventh overall.

Grandi was the only skier to complete his second run down the fast Hermann Maier course under 1 minute and eight seconds.

Hilde Gerg finally tamed a course that had humbled the German veteran too often in the past.

Not even the wind, poor form or any pesky upstarts were going to stop her this time.

The German finally got it all together to master the troublesome 2,358m Engiadina super-G course Tuesday to collect her 20th career World Cup victory, her first at the glitzy Swiss resort.

The 29-year-old, known as "Wilde Hilde" by German fans, tore down the 2003 super-G course in 1 minute, 14.95 seconds, for her second victory this season.

The victory vaulted her into the top-15 of the all-time victories list with 20, putting her ahead of former Austrian technical specialist Anita Wachter, and equal with Croatian sensation Janica Kostelic.

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