on December 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Alpine skiing-Maier rolls back the years with super-G victory

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (Reuters) – Austria’s Hermann Maier scored his first World Cup win in almost three years with victory in a super-G at Lake Louise on Sunday.

The Austrian, who turns 36 next week, clocked one minute 29.84 seconds to bag his 54th World Cup victory, his fourth in a super-G in the Canadian resort.

Maier had been lackluster the last two seasons with only two podium placings and his last victory dated back to January 2006, when he won a downhill in Garmisch.

But in a race which saw favorite Bode Miller lose a ski and crash out, Maier was back to his exceptional best, ending up the only skier under the 90-second barrier.

Home hope John Kucera, winner of a super-G on the same course two years ago, had to settle for second, 0.59 seconds behind the four-times World Cup overall winner.

It was a race for experienced skiers as Didier Cuche was third for the third time in the Lake Louise super-G, a position he held last year and in 2002. The Swiss downhill specialist 0.68 seconds behind Maier.

Austrian Maier showed once again that he was arguably the best super-G specialist of all time.

It was his 24th World Cup victory in the discipline, his 37th podium in the event and his sixth podium in the Lake Louise super-G.

Miller made a perfect start, leading Maier by some 0.2 seconds at the first intermediate time but he lost a ski and crashed out of contention before the half-way mark.

The reigning World Cup champion is still without a win after four races this campaign.

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, winner of last year’s super-G here a week before the dreadful crash which ruined his season, confirmed his steady return to form in ninth place.

Next week, Svindal returns to Beaver Creek, the scene of his accident. A combined, a downhill, a super-G and a giant slalom are scheduled in the U.S. resort.

(Editing by Francois Thomazeau and Miles Evans)