Tomba recovers to make Cup history

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The Independent Online
SKIING Reute Even Alberto Tomba was amazed at the way he won his fourth consecutive slalom of the season. He rallied from second place after the first run to edge Thomas Sykora by .02 of a second in the overall time after two runs in Lech, Austria.

Including the final two slaloms of last season, Tomba now has a six-race winning streak in World Cup slaloms, something no one has ever achieved in World Cup history, nor has anyone opened the season with four consecutive wins in that particular discipline.

Tomba had to brake hard to just get his skis inside a gate and regain his rhythm on the second run. "I made a big mistake at the bottom," Tomba said. "I lost maybe a second. At one moment I even considered the possibility of dropping out."

Michael Tritscher of Austria, who was third with 1:44.34, said after the race: "There's no one but Tomba who can win with such a mistake."

Thomas Fogdoe of Sweden was fourth, with Ole-Christian Furuseth of Norway fifth, and Jure Kosir of Slovenia, who was third on Tuesday, sixth.

Five-time overall champion, Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg, came in eighth, posting the fastest time in the second run.

It was Tomba's 26th career slalom victory and 37th overall title. He leads the World Cup standings with 450 points, and will stay in the lead until the end of the year as his two closest challengers will be out for the rest of the month.

Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland dislocated his shoulder when he fell in the second heat and will be out until January, as will Kjetil-Andre Aamodt of Norway, who has to have a knee operation.

Sabina Panzanini of Italy claimed her first World Cup victory when she edged out Anita Wachter to win the women's giant slalom in Alta Badia.

Deborah Compagnoni, who finished third after missing the start of the season with a kidney infection, said: "I didn't think I was going to finish on the podium. I'd have been happy with a place in the top 10."