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Raich best on the Adelboden slopes

BENJAMIN Raich of Austria won the classic men's World Cup giant slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, yesterday to overtake the lead in the discipline standings.

Raich, who also won on the famously steep Kuonisbaergli piste in 2006 and '07, had a two-run time of 2 minutes, 24.95 seconds. Italy's Massimiliano Blardone, who won here in 2005, was 0.24 seconds behind in second.

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was third, trailing Raich by 0.72.

Ted Ligety of the United States, the defending World Cup GS champion, had a disappointing morning run but the second fastest time in the afternoon to improve from 28th to ninth.

Defending overall champion Bode Miller skied out before halfway in the morning when he caught a gate and could not correct his line. It was the eighth time in 16 events this season he has failed to complete a race.

It was Raich's 33rd World Cup win, and 13th in the discipline. He also won at Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December. Raich led Blardone by 0.20 after the first leg and skied solidly to protect his lead in the second.

"It's great here," the 30-year-old Olympic GS champion said. "It's very difficult and a great atmosphere. The Swiss crowd is behind their team."

Raich leads the GS standings on 286 points, while Ligety is second on 241. Albrecht fell to fifth, 65 points behind Raich.

In Maribor, Slovenia, Tina Maze thrilled home fans after winning the women's World Cup giant slalom yesterday for her seventh career victory.

Maze was second after the opening leg but had the fastest second run with a combined time of 2 minutes, 45.15 seconds.

Denise Karbon of Italy led after the first leg but lost time in the final part of her second run to finish second. Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany was third, while World Cup giant slalom leader Tanja Poutiainen took fourth with a 1.20-second deficit.


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