Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Bode Miller disqualified as Grange wins slalom

AP , ZAGREB

Jean-Baptiste Grange won a men’s World Cup night slalom on Tuesday while Bode Miller was disqualified because his new ski boots were millimeters too high.

Grange, who led after the opening leg, finished in a combined time of one minute, 53.31 seconds on the icy Crveni Spust course to edge Ivica Kostelic of Croatia by 0.05 seconds. Giuliano Razzoli of Italy took third, trailing Grange by 0.35 seconds.

Grange, who won the season-opening slalom in Levi, Finland, in November, extended his lead in the discipline standings over Kostelic. The Frenchman also tops the overall standings after overtaking Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.

“I was a bit surprised to win,” Grange said after his sixth World Cup victory. “I had some mistakes in the second run and I knew Ivica had done well.”

Despite his lead, Grange didn’t expect to be a serious contender for the overall title.

“My focus stays on slalom,” Grange said. “I expect Miller and Svindal to get many points from the upcoming speed events, so I am not thinking about the overall title at all.”

Miller, the defending overall World Cup champion, finished the opening leg in 29th place but was disqualified after a routine check between runs showed the soles of the American’s ski boots were 0.2mm too high, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said.

“It’s black and white, the rules are clear, so nothing we can do about that,” said Forest Carey, the head coach of Miller’s independent ski team.

FIS rules limit the height of ski boots to 34.3mm because knee injuries often occur when soles are higher.

Miller’s boots were 34.5mm.

Carey said Miller switched to a new pair of boots in the morning and was very disappointed at being disqualified because there was a good crowd for the night race, “so he was fired up.”

Kostelic, who learned skiing as a kid on the Sljeme hill, posted the second-fastest time in his first run in front of a loud home crowd of 20,000.

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