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Riesch glides to another slalom win

MARIA Riesch of Germany continued her dominating form yesterday by winning her fourth straight women's World Cup slalom by more than one second.

Riesch held a commanding lead after the opening run and comfortably held off her challengers in the second to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 29.64 seconds in Maribor, Slovenia.

Kathrin Zettel of Austria took second, 1.15 seconds behind, while Finland's Tanja Poutiainen was third, 1.77 back.

"I had some doubts ahead of my second run," said the 24-year-old Riesch, who now has 10 World Cup victories. "A big lead makes you feel safe but in slalom you can easily go out and I was a bit scared for that. ... I am delighted that it worked out well."

Riesch is now one slalom win short of matching Anja Paerson's World Cup record of five straight discipline victories. Paerson won five consecutive giant slalom races in 2004.

Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn used a blistering second run to climb from 18th to a tie for fourth with Paerson. Vonn had the fastest second leg ?? 0.29 quicker than Zettel ?? but finished 2.04 behind Riesch.

"It was a fantastic second run," said Vonn, who celebrated after finishing like she'd won the race. "I knew it would not be enough to win but it was really nice to get it anyway."

On the men's side, Reinfried Herbst of Austria won a World Cup slalom race ahead of countryman Manfred Pranger in Adelboden, Switzerland.

Herbst had a stellar second run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.95 seconds on the Kuonisbaergli piste yesterday after being 10th in the first leg. It is his fourth career World Cup win.

Pranger led after the first leg but finished 0.18 seconds back. Germany's Felix Neureuther was 0.32 back in third.


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