Skiing: Gerg wins her first World Cup downhill

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The Independent Online
THE OLYMPIC slalom champion, Hilde Gerg of Germany, tamed a treacherous course to claim the first World Cup downhill win of her career in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, yesterday.

Gerg took the rock-hard 2,500 metre piste in 1min 41.13sec, giving Germany its first win of the season in the absence of the injured Olympic downhill champion, Katja Seizinger.

The Swedish veteran Pernilla Wiberg, who called the Piste de l'Ours a "Kitzbuhel for women" and said it was the most difficult she had ever raced on, took second in 1:41.55.

Norway's Lasse Kjus won the second World Cup downhill of the men's season in Val Gardena, Italy, yesterday.

The former overall World Cup champion was surprise fastest in the Val d'Isere downhill last Saturday and proved that was no fluke with a provisional winning time here of 2:02.18, nearly a second faster than anyone else.

Austria's Werner Franz was second in 2:03.09 and his compatriot Hermann Maier, overall World Cup champion, was third in 2:03.28 after starting from 31st position on a Saslong piste that has always favoured the gliders.

Kjus is the first Norwegian to win in Val Gardena since Atle Skaardal in 1990 and his winning margin of 0.91sec was the widest since William Besse won in 1992.