Norwegians in dominant form

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The Independent Online
Atle Skaardal upstaged Lasse Kjus, his compatriot and the World Cup leader, in Val d'Isere yesterday to underline Norway's supremacy in the super-giant slalom this season.

Skaardal, a downhill specialist who, at 29, can be considered a veteran, clocked 1min 20.65sec to secure the first super-G victory of his career and his first World Cup win for nearly two years. "It is good to succeed in an event that is not your speciality, but above all I want to recover my best form in downhills. Maybe this will help," Skaardal said.

Kjus, winner of the opening super-giant slalom of the season last week in Vail, Colorado, had to be content with finishing second for the fifth time in nine races this season, in 1:20.80. Austria's Hans Knaus took third place in 1:20.98.

Kjus's consistency has helped him build a 245-point lead in the overall standings over Michael von Grunigen of Switzerland, a giant slalom specialist.

The men's World Cup circuit now travels to Italy for a downhill in Val Gardena on Saturday.