Mayer wins giant slalom

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Austria blew away the field in the last men's World Cup event of the year, finishing 1-2-3 in the giant slalom at Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria on Wednesday.

Austria blew away the field in the last men's World Cup event of the year, finishing 1-2-3 in the giant slalom at Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria on Wednesday.

Christian Mayer clinched his first victory of the season, storming down the fast perfectly prepared course in a two-round aggregate time of 2 minutes, 25.83 seconds.

Mayer was only in seventh place after round one, but a flawless second run catapulted him to the top.

"It was a great run," Mayer said after the race. "But I knew I'd be fast, I already did well in the training."

Mayer said the victory was a "just one," since he was in the lead of the giant slalom at Val d'Isere two weeks ago when the race was canceled due to bad weather conditions and rescheduled to Saalbach.

"Justice was meted out," he said, adding that, "it's always nice to win at home."

Overall World Cup leader Hermann Maier finished second, trailing Mayer by 0.30 seconds.

"Mayer's second run was simply flawless, I had no chance," Maier said, adding he was happy there were no more races this year.

"I am looking forward to the break now, " he said.

The "Herminator" has further solidified his position atop the overall World Cup standings, where he dominates with 840 points, 400 points ahead of his teammate Stephan Eberharter in second place.

Another Austrian, Benjamin Raich, finished third in 2:26.15, underlining the host nation's domination.

"Two podiums in two days, that's a good result," said Raich who finished second in Tuesday's slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

Switzerland's Super-G specialist, Michael von Grueningen, came home fourth, clocking 2:26.54, while Austria's Andreas Schifferer finished fifth in 2:26.56.

Eberharter and another Austrian, Rainer Salzberger, were in the top five after round one, but they both dropped out in the second run after serious mistakes on the bottom part of the course.

Snow conditions were ideal, and skies were sunny for the race.

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