Skiing: Ortlieb makes World Cup breakthrough

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THE old guard reasserted itself yesterday when the second downhill of the men's season was won by the Olympic champion with the upstarts who had dominated 24 hours earlier returning to their accustomed lowlier places, writes Bill Scott from Val Gardena, Italy. Patrick Ortlieb at last added a World Cup win to his Albertville gold medal of 1992, his only other downhill victory. The 26- year-old Austrian covered the 3.4km Saslonch piste in 2min 04.14sec to beat Daniel Mahrer, of Switzerland, by 0.41sec. Jean-Luc Cretier, of France, came from a No 37 start to finish third and revive some of Friday's downhill drama, when Liechtenstein's Markus Foser won from a very late start position after the gale-strength winds on top of the course suddenly died. The women's downhill in St Anton, in Austria, had to be staged as a two-leg race on a shortened course for the first time in the sport's history after heavy snowfalls rendered the top of the piste unusable. Anja Haas, of Austria, won with an aggressive second run.

(Photograph omitted)