Maier dominates downhill

Skiing on only one good ski, Hermann Maier is still better than the rest of the world on two.

Skiing on only one good ski, Hermann Maier is still better than the rest of the world on two.

Despite hitting a rock and damaging an 20-centimeter (8-inch) section of his left ski, the Austrian ace overpowered North America's most difficult downhill, winning by nearly a full second over teammate Stephan Eberharter on Saturday in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for his third World Cup victory in as many races this season.

Forced to over-rely on his right ski for most of his run, Maier mastered the Birds of Prey course in 1 minute, 43.77 seconds, which was .91 seconds faster than Eberharter's 1:44.68.

"After the gliding section at the top, I found a big rock and damaged the inside edge of my left ski," Maier said. "That made it very difficult. It is good there are more left turns here, so I transferred my weight more to my right ski."

The ski is ruined, Maier said, but he wasn't worried about finding a suitable replacement pair.

"Yeah, I have faster ones," he said.

After two quick training runs, Maier seized the favorite's role for the season's inaugural downhill, and he didn't disappoint a crowd of about 8,000 which packed the grandstand at the finish and lined the course.

Bolting out of the start house, he stayed crouched in his tuck for most of his run, nipping one gate in a bold effort to find the shortest line.

As the 14th skier on the course, Maier came across 1.31 seconds ahead of his competition. Eberharter, skiing 15th, then trimmed the margin slightly.

It was Maier's fifth victory on this demanding 3-year-old course, which features fast turns and big jumps. Previously, he won a super-G here in 1998, a downhill and super-G in the World Championships last February and a giant slalom last Wednesday.

Besides his victory on Wednesday, he won the season-opening giant slalom on 31 October in Tignes, France. Maier, bidding to recapture the World Cup overall title he claimed two years ago, did not compete in Tuesday's slalom in Colorado.

"This is a great dowhill here," Maier said. "Everything is there: gliding sections and downhill steeps. At the moment, it is very easy for me to ski this very difficult track. You have to ski very aggressive to win here."

Maier, bothered by back problems last season, said good health is another factor in his torrid start.

"I don't feel any pain in my back," he said. "I can ski on the edge and can ski comfortable. Last year, that was not possible."

Eberharter said he was pleased with his result after disappointing training times.

"This is my favorite downhill," he said. "I'm happy to beat so many good downhillers because I don't feel like a real downhiller. My love is still GS.

"Hermann has won three races and has a lot of confidence. He doesn't make many mistakes. Right now, it is very difficult to beat him, but we'll keep trying."

Austrians claimed five of the top six positions. Italy's Kristian Ghedina was third in 1:44.89, followed by Austrians Hans Knauss, Christian Greber and Werner Franz in 1:45.08, 1:45.33 and 1:45.35, respectively.

Norway's Lasse Kjus, the defending World Cup overall and downhill champion, was seventh in 1:45.47.

Austria's Andreas Schifferer was eighth in 1:45.52, and Switzerland's Silvano Beltrametti and Paul Accola and were ninth and 10th, respectively, in 1:45.57 and 1:45.59.

Canada's Darin McBeath and Switzerland's Bruno Kernen tied for 11th at 1:45.68. Canadian Ed Podivinsky placed 13th in 1:45.70.

Austria's Hannes Trinkl, who finished second and third in the two training runs, had a quick intermediate time but skied into soft snow and into the safety net halfway into his run. He appeared to be unscathed except for a bloody nose and lip.

Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003