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Byggmark takes lead after opening run of men's slalom

Byggmark takes lead after opening run of men's slalom

Jens Byggmark was quickest in the opening run of a World Cup slalom on Saturday, building a big lead over the rest of the men's field.
The 21-year-old Swede tore through the thick snowfall blanketing the Ganslern course to cross in 50.67 seconds.
Olympic champion Benjamin Raich, who clocked 51.74, was watching from the leader's booth as Byggmark came down and looked both surprised and impressed as he was bumped out of first place.
"I don't know how I did it," Byggmark said. "The snowing really thick so I just went for it. It was just a good run."
Switzerland's Marc Berthod proved his surprise victory in slushy conditions at Adelboden, Switzerland, three weeks ago was no fluke, crossing second in 51.47 and knocking Raich into third.
Croatia's Ivica Kostelic continued his strong run of performances, crossing fourth in 51.90.
Discipline leader Markus Larsson of Sweden fell onto his elbow and failed to qualify for the second run.
Bode Miller, still seeking a berth on the U.S. slalom squad for the upcoming world championships in Are, Sweden, had a disastrous run.
He straddled a gate midway down then hiked back up two sets of gates to rerun it. Moments later, he lost his right ski on a left turn and crashed.
It was the second time in two weeks Miller lost his right ski in a slalom.
In Adelboden, he was the only American to qualify for the second leg but his ski inexplicably popped off midway down the next run.
Miller has not completed a slalom in almost a year. The 29-year-old has finished only three of his last 20 World Cup slalom races.
The last time he finished one was here last season when he placed 18th. His last World Cup slalom victory dates back to December 2004 at Sestriere, Italy.
Miller will have another chance in Sunday's slalom to secure a spot for the worlds, which begin Feb. 3. Another slalom is scheduled for Tuesday night under the floodlights of nearby Schladming.
Olympic combined gold medalist Ted Ligety, who is already qualified for the world championship slalom race, was out of the top 15, 1.96 off the winning pace.
Defending World Cup slalom champion Giorgio Rocca, still returning to form after a knee injury, left himself 1.61 to make up in the second run.


Updated : 2021-01-18 07:01 GMT+08:00