Thomas Grandi wins second consecutive World Cup giant slalom


Thomas Grandi wins second consecutive World Cup giant slalom{mosimage}Thomas Grandi of Canada has won a second giant slalom, this time at Flachau, Austria, the hometown of Hermann Maier. Grandi, a 32-year-old tech specialist who on Sunday won Canada its first ever tech-event win in men’s World Cup, turned in a time of 2:15.90.

American Bode Miller was in first with just a few racers left to go when Grandi blasted onto the relatively flat Flachau course. Grandi grabbed his tuck between gates, then pinned the gates with perfect accuracy. When he crossed the line, the Siemens scoreboard registered a stunning 1.10-second lead.

Bode Miller clapped and grinned as Grandi, exhausted and laughing with glee, leaned on the finish-corral fence laughing. When Didier Cuche of Switzerland — the first-run winner — hit his edges a little too hard to pull off a win. Cuche’s time was 0.15 slower than Grandi’s, but enough to bump Miller into third. Grandi collapsed on the snow with joy.

Four American men were in the top 15, including Daron Rahlves, who had a career-best giant slalom finish. “I could tell right away this fall in training that he had speed with his new boots,” said Dane Spencer, the team’s rugged GS/SG skier who raced the second run with severe back pain, knowing that he had some time to heal before the next race in mid-January.

World Cup

Men’s Giant Slalom
Flachau, Austria
Dec. 21, 2004

1. Thomas Grandi, CAN 2:15.90
2. Didier Cuche, SUI 2:16.05
3. Bode Miller, USA 2:17.00
4. Benjamin Raich, AUT 2:17.05
5. Daron Rahlves, USA 2:17.40
6. Davide Simoncelli, ITA 2:17.60
7. Didier Defago, SUI 2:17.87
8. Kalle Palander, FIN 2:17.89
9. Manfred Moelgg, ITA 2:18.15
10. Andreas Nilsen, NOR 2:18.21
11. Fredrik Nyberg, SWE 2:18.37
12. Dane Spencer, USA 2:18.47
13. Erik Schlopy, USA 2:18.50
14. Arnold Rieder, ITA 2:18.67
15. Gauthier DeTessieres, FRA 2:18.69
16. Ales Gorza, SLO 2:18.70
17. Lucas Senoner, ITA 2:18.78
18. Rainer Schoenfelder, AUT 2:18.80
19. Massimiliano Blardone, ITA 2:18.85
20. Lasse Kjus, NOR 2:18.87
21. Jean-Philippe Roy, CAN 2:18.96
22. Frederic Covili, FRA 2:19.40
23. Niklas Rainer, SWE 2:19.56
24. Mitja Valencic, SLO 2:19.62
25. Alessandro Roberto, ITA 2:20.08
26. Bjarne Solbakken, NOR 2:20.44
27. Tobias Gruenenfelder, SUI 2:20.54
28. Hermann Maier, AUT 2:25.49
other North Americans:
DNQ 2nd: Jake Zamansky, USA.
DNF 1st: Francois Bourque, CAN; James Cochran, USA.

THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

equipment
Men’s Giant Slalom, Flachau, Austria, Dec. 21, 2004
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Grandi, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2 Cuche, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Palander, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Moelgg, Fischer/Lange/Look
10 Nilsen, Fischer/Nordica/Tyrolia

The men’s Giant Slalom at Flachau is the 14th race of the men’s 35 race (plus 2 combined) World Cup schedule. … It is the fifth of eight scheduled SG’s.

It is the second career win for Thomas Grandi and second in three days. … The last Canadian to win more than one race in a single season was Kate Pace 1993… Last Canadian male was Todd Brooker 1983. … It is the 58th Canadian World Cup win.

It is the 23rd career podium for Didier Cuche. … His second of the season and second in three days. … All four Swiss podiums thhis season have come from men.

It is the 33rd career podium for Bode Miller, his eighth of the season. … It is his 14th career GS podium. … No American has ever scored 8 podiums before the turn of the year before.

Fourth finishing Benjamin Raich has won the Flachau GS twice (in ’99 and January ’04) in the four times it has been held.

It is the 28th top five result for Daron Rahlves. … the fourth of the season. … He has been fifth three times this season. … It is a career best GS result for Rahlves overshadowing his previous best (8th) from three days prior at Alta Badia. … It is the fourth best career result for Dane Spencer. … His second best of the season after 11th at Beaver Creek GS 12/4. … It is the second best result of the season for Erik Schlopy. … He has scored in four GS’s so far this season…. It is the third scoring result of the season for Jean-Philippe Roy. …

Bode Miller leads the World Cup overall standings 858-506 over Benjamin Raich (4th). … Daron Rahlves is sixth overall at 351pts. … Thomas Grandi leads the GS standings 280-260 over Miller. … Maier holds third at 216. … Austria leads the Nations Cup 4508-2556 over the U.S. (women’s race 12/21 included). … Austria leads the men’s standings 2993-1523 for the U.S.

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