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Walchhofer fastest in WCup downhill training

Walchhofer fastest in WCup downhill training

Austrian skier Michael Walchhofer was marginally quicker than Canada's Erik Guay in a World Cup downhill training run at Chamonix on Friday.
Walchhofer, a former downhill world champion, clocked 2 minutes, 2.65 seconds down the 3.37-kilometer (2.09-mile) La Verte course in the French Alps, with Guay just .01 seconds behind.
Austria's Klaus Kroell _ quickest in Thursday's training _ was third fastest and .25 seconds behind Walchhofer.
Didier Cuche of Switzerland, who won the downhill on the Streif course at Kitzbuehel last weekend, was .41 seconds adrift in fourth.
Cuche leads the World Cup downhill standings with 279 points, but Walchhofer is only 10 points behind in third.
Overall World Cup leader Ivica Kostelic was tied for fifth place with Frenchman Yannick Bertrand, .47 back.
Kostelic won six races this month and will be looking to extend his overall World Cup lead in the French Alps, where a super combined is also scheduled on Sunday.
The Croat has 1,075 points in the overall standings, followed by Switzerland's Silvan Zurbriggen on 643 and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal on 585.
American Bode Miller is not competing in Chamonix and has headed back to the United States to take a rest prior to next month's world championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Fellow American Ted Ligety, who leads the giant slalom standings, will also skip the Chamonix events to train for the GS and super G races scheduled next week in Hinterstoder, Austria.