Maier skis to fourth straight victory

Austrian strongman Hermann Maier continued his early-season domination of the men's World Cup ski circuit, capturing a super-giant slalom by nearly a second on Sunday for his fourth straight victory in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Austrian strongman Hermann Maier continued his early-season domination of the men's World Cup ski circuit, capturing a super-giant slalom by nearly a second on Sunday for his fourth straight victory in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Maier, aged 26, attacked the steep, treacherous Birds of Prey course for a winning margin of .94 seconds over teammate Stephan Eberharter in the inaugural super-G of the season.

Maier now has won four of the five men's races this season; he did not compete in a slalom in the United States on Tuesday. The record for consecutive World Cup victories is 10 by Ingemar Stenmark during the 1977-78 season.

With the triumph, Maier tied Switzerland's Pirmin Zurbriggen for the most career World Cup super-giant slalom victories (10) among men.

As he did in overwhelming the field in Saturday's downhill, Maier posted a leadll eighth out of the start house.

He skied smoothly but powerfully, brushing several gates, to post a time of 1 minute, 16.51 seconds.

Following right behind, Eberharter then fashioned a solid run of 1:17.45 that only slightly reduced Maier's winning margin.

Maier, making a strong bid to recapture the World Cup overall title he claimed two years ago but relinquished to Norway's Lasse Kjus last season, has won six races on this 3-year-old course, including three in the past five days. Besides the downhill, he won a giant slalom on Wednesday.

Kjus wound up third in 1:17.64.

Maier, who won four of the six super-G races last season to easily win the discipline title, got started toward another super-G title with Sunday's win and also led his powerful Austrian team to five of the top six places.

Austrians Andreas Schifferer, Christian Mayer and Hans Knauss were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in 1:17.70, 1:17.76 and 1:17.82.

Sweden's Fredrik Nyberg was seventh in 1:17.83, followed by Austria's Werner Franz in 1:17.89, Switzerland's Paul Accola in 1:17.97 and Austria's Josef Strobl in 1:18.05.

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