Saioni, Pretnar share slalom victory

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The Independent Online

France's Christelle Saioni and Slovenia's Spela Pretnar skied to a rare tie on Saturday, posting identical times to share first place in a women's World Cup slalom in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

France's Christelle Saioni and Slovenia's Spela Pretnar skied to a rare tie on Saturday, posting identical times to share first place in a women's World Cup slalom in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Saioni, earning the first World Cup victory of her career, and Pretnar, recording her third career win, had combined times for two runs of 1 minute, 31.92 seconds, overtaking first-run leader Trine Bakke of Norway, who wound up third in 1:32.22.

After the first run, Bakke led Saioni by .14 seconds and Pretnar by .65 seconds.

Skiing in reverse order, Pretnar fashioned the second-fastest time on the second run of 45.80 seconds, momentarily claiming the lead alone. Then Saioni flashed down in 46.31, matching Pretnar's aggregate time.

Bakke, who posted her first World Cup victory last January in a slalom at St. Anton, Austria, could manage only a 46.75, leaving her .30 seconds off the pace.

It was the first tie on the World Cup circuit since a women's slalom at Vail in 1997, when Paoletta Magoni tied Pernilla Wiberg. It was the eighth tie in World Cup history and the sixth among the women.

A majority of the top contenders raced on short skis, which are used with increasing frequency in slalom racing because they tend to be more forgiving.

Croatia's Janica Kostelic had the quickest second heat and wound up fourth in 1:32.33. Wiberg, the Swedish veteran, was fifth in 1:33.01. Austria's Renate Goetschl and France's Laure Pequegnot tied for sixth in 1:33.17. Slovenia's Alenka Dovzan was eighth in 1:33.51.

Two Americans earned World Cup points. Kristina Koznick of Burnsville, Minn., finished 14th in 1:34.14, and Sarah Schleper of Vail was 20th in 1:35.09.

Canadian Allison Forsyth wound up 18th in 1:34.59.

Defending World Cup slalom champion Sabine Egger of Austria was 12th in 1:34.03. Reigning world champion Zali Steggall of Australia did not qualify for the second run, finishing nearly four seconds off the pace in her first heat.

Bakke, first out of the start house in the initial run, posted a time of 45.47 that withstood the challenges of the remaining 61 skiers. Only two others - Saioni and Pretnar - were within one second of her pace.

Friday's giant slalom and Saturday's slalom were moved to Copper Mountain because of insufficient snow in Park City, Utah.

They are the first World Cup races at Copper Mountain since 1976, when men and women each had two technical races here.

Two men's races originally scheduled for Park City will be staged on Tuesday and Wednesday at Beaver Creek, Colorado, preceding a downhill and super-G already scheduled there next weekend.


1. (tie) Christelle Saioni, France, and Spela Pretnar, Slovenia, 1 minute, 31.92 seconds.

3. Trine Bakke, Norway, 1:32.22.

4. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:32.33.

5. Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 1:33.01.

6. (tie) Renate Goetschl, Austria, and Laure Pequegnot, France, 1:33.17.

8. Alenka Dovzan, Slovenia, 1:33.51.

9. Helene Richard, France, 1:33.62.

10. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 1:33.74.

11. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:34.01.

12. Sabine Egger, Austria, 1:34.03.

13. Henna Raita, Finland, 1:34.07.

14. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:34.14.

15. Monika Bergmann, Germany, 1:34.18.

16. Vanessa Vidal, France, 1:34.19.

17. Leila Piccard, France, 1:34.49.

18. Allison Forsyth, Canada, 1:34.59.

19. Natasa Bokal, Slovenia, 1:34.62.

20. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 1:35.09.

21. Ingrid Salvenmoser, Austria, 1:35.28.

22. Emma Carrick-Anderson, Britain, 1:35.33.

23. Lara Magoni, Italy, 1:35.35.

24. Stephanie Clement-Guy, France, 1:35.53.

25. Andrine Flemmen, Norway, 1:35.72.

26. Karen Putzer, Italy, 1:35.91.

27. Barbara Milani, Italy, 1:35.93.

28. Eveline Rohregger, Austria, 1:36.19.

29. Simone Behringer, Germany, 1:36.65.

Hilde Gerg, Germany, failed to complete the second run.

Emily Brydon, Canada; Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Julia Mancuso, Tahoe City, Calif., failed to qualify for the second run.


Slalom Standings

After 1 race

1. (tie) Saioni and Pretnar, 100 points.

3. Bakke, 60.

4. Kostelic, 50.

5. Wiberg, 45.

6. (tie) Goetschl and Pequegnot, 40.

8. Dovzan, 32.

9. Richard, 29.

10. Nef, 26.

11. Paerson, 24.

12. Egger, 22.

13. Raita, 20.

14. Koznick, 18.

15. Bergmann, 16.


18. Forsyth, 13.

20. Schleper, 11.


Women's Overall Standings

After 3 events

1. Nef, 140.

2. (tie) Regine Cavagnoud, France, and Anna Ottosson, Sweden, 120.

4. Goetschl, 112.

5. Pretnar, 106.

6. Saioni, 100.

7. Wiberg, 95.

8. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 92.

9. Putzer, 85.

10. Paerson, 74.

11. Flemmen, 64.

12. (tie) Bakke, Kostelic and Anita Wachter, Austria, 60.

15. Forsyth, 58.


29. Koznick, 22.

43. Schleper, 11.