Jet Ski News
1/23/2004 0 Comments
American Daron Rahlves roared to his first World Cup super-G win on Friday, edging out favorite Herman Maier by a fraction of a second to end the Austrian's stranglehold on the speed event here.
Brimming with confidence after coming third in Thursday's downhill, the 30-year-old Rahlves let rip down the sun-drenched Streifalm course without any errors for a winning time of one minute 23.08 seconds.
Maier, starting 11 places after Rahlves and egged on by thousands of spectators, looked set for victory with a faster intermediate time but made a mistake halfway down to end a tantalising three hundredths of a second behind.
Michael Walchhofter wrapped up a successful day for the host nation by charging into third place, 0.38 seconds off the pace.
Rahlves's victory, the second of the season following a downhill in Beaver Creek, denied Maier his fourth super-G win at Kitzbuehel and broke Austria's 100 percent success rate in the speed event here.
"This is awesome, just awesome," a beaming Rahlves said of his sixth World Cup victory. "It was really tough today. Kitzbuehel is not only the hardest downhill but also the toughest super-G. It was a great run.
"I've come fourth here a lot of times, so I knew I had the speed, but there was also a bit of luck involved," he added.
The former world jet-ski champion evidently thrives on the challenging courses at Kitzbuehel, home to the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill which is scheduled for Saturday.
Third in Thursday's substitute downhill from Bormio, he won the Hahnenkamm downhill last year, came third two years previously and notched up two fourth places in the super-G.
"I'm ready to rock -- things are just getting better and better for me," the American said looking ahead to the showcase downhill on Saturday.
"I was really aggressive and fighting all the way down so I don't know where I'll get the energy for tomorrow."
Maier won the super-G last year -- a victory that crowned his return to the top of the sport after a life-threatening motorcycle accident.
The Austrian said he lost out this time for wanting victory too much on the unforgiving slope that is riddled with sharp turns and jumps.
"I was going too hard and was punished for being impatient. I took the Hausberg traverse too directly and certainly lost half a second there," the super-G champion from the Nagano Olympics said.
"Of course it hurts to lose out by so close a margin, but such a mistake should not happen to an old fox like me," the 31-year-old said.
Maier can nevertheless take comfort from the fact that he still leads the World Cup standings in super-G after having reached the podium in each of the last four races.
Overall World Cup leader Lasse Kjus, winner of Thursday's downhill, came fifth behind Austrian Andreas Schifferer, while Stephan Eberharter, second behind Kjus in the downhill, placed a disappointing ninth.
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