Sebastien Amiez's consistency was finally rewarded yesterday when he survived a treacherous slalom piste at Veysonnaz, Switzerland, to secure his first World Cup victory. The Frenchman had finished in the top five in all six previous slaloms this season but had never won a race.
His success, the first by a Frenchman in a slalom since Patrice Bianchi won at Madonna di Campiglio in 1992, came on a testing piste that thwarted Alberto Tomba's pursuit of a fourth slalom victory this season at a venue where he has never won. The Italian went out in the first leg and almost a third of the 30 racers failed in the second. Amiez won in 1min 38.79sec, with Slovenia's Rene Mlekuz, who was the 64th starter on the first leg, capitalising on the problems of the leading contenders by finishing second in 1:39.16. Austria's Thomas Sykora was third in 1:39.48.
Marc Girardelli, of Luxembourg, finished sixth, which was enough to win him the combined event, which included Saturday's downhill at the same venue.
Austria's Anita Wachter took the lead in the women's overall World Cup standings by winning a giant slalom at Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. Wachter was third fastest in the first leg but mastered an icy second run for a total time of 2min 37.74sec. Sweden's Erika Hansson was second, with Germany's Katja Seizinger third.
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