Matt clinches slalom title

Austrian slalom king wins eighth World Cup race.

    Mario Matt: Perfect runs paid dividends [GALLO/GETTY]
    Austrian slalom specialist Mario Matt won his eighth World Cup slalom race, beating countryman Benjamin Raich by 0.10 seconds.

    Matt finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 48.45 seconds after completing two perfect runs on the difficult Kuonisbaergli course.

    Felix Neureuther of Germany was third, 0.14 seconds back from Matt.

    "I couldn't have taken more of a risk," Neureuther said. "Well, perhaps on the first steep slope."

    Marc Berthod and Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland, who came first and second in the giant slalom Saturday, went out in the first run Sunday after heavy overnight rain and intermittent sleet during the day.

    After tying for third in the first run, American Ted Ligety crashed in the second run.

    Bode Miller, who went out of the giant slalom and is fifth overall in World Cup standings, made an error at one of the first gates, then lost his footing again further down for a second non-finish in two days.

    "It's a little disappointing," said Miller's coach, John McBride.

    "It's not like he (Miller) did anything drastically wrong, he just didn't execute."

    McBride said Miller would be a contender at the World Cup races in Wengen later this week if the conditions are good.

    The warm weather is forecast to continue until at least the middle of the week.

    Kalle Palander of Finland, who is sixth in the overall World Cup standings, also fell victim to the soft snow conditions.

    Rainer Schoenfelder of Austria and Manfred Moelgg of Italy finished tied for fourth, 0.69 back.

    Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, who was second after the first run, came sixth, 0.14 seconds ahead of seventh-place Julien Lizeroux of France.

    Like in Saturday's giant slalom, Jimmy Cochran was the only American to finish.

    He came eighth, 1.27 seconds back from the leader.

    Marcel Hirscher marked himself out as one to watch by posting his first ever top-10 result in a World Cup event.

    The 18-year-old Austrian came ninth, 1.28 seconds behind Matt.

    Giorgio Rocca of Italy completed the top 10, coming in 1.29 seconds after Matt.

    Schild claims women's meet

    Marlies Schild won a World Cup slalom meet for her third win in the discipline this season.

    The Austrian posted the fastest second run to win with a combined time of 1 minute, 46.35 seconds.

    "Some parts of the course were icy and I had to be cautious," said Schild, who was second after the first run.

    Slovakia's Veronika Zuzulova finished second with 1:46.67 for her best career result.

    Maria Riesch of Germany, who was fastest in the opening run, came third in 1:47.53.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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