Skiing: Besse boosts Swiss morale

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The Independent Online
In-form William Besse produced a near-perfect performance to claim Switzerland's first World Cup downhill ski win this year, on home snow. Besse overhauled Marc Girardelli, who was an early starter, with a cool-headed assault on the circuit's longest course, Wengen's 4.28-km Lauberhorn. Girardelli had to share second place with Italy's Peter Runggaldier, who came out of a late starting position to match his 2min 28.92sec, which was only 0.04sec slower than the winner. Besse's success, after a series of slalom victories by his team-mate Vreni Schneider, will come as a morale booster for the national team before next month's Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Schneider was beaten in the World Cup slalom yesterday at Maribor, where Urska Hrovat also claimed a home win, for Slovenia.