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Byggmark wins first World Cup event

Byggmark wins first World Cup event

Jens Byggmark beat the favorites to win a slalom on Saturday for his first career World Cup victory.
The 21-year-old Swede, who surprised the field with the fastest time in the opening leg, delivered a second brilliant run down the Ganslern course to win with a combined time of 1 minute, 43.74 seconds.
"It's amazing," Byggmark said. "After the first run, I tried not to expect anything."
It is Byggmark's first full season on the World Cup circuit. His best career World Cup result until now was a fifth place finish in a slalom at Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December.
"I was really nervous in the second run. I had never been in that position, leading after the first run," he said. "I could hear all the fans screaming and shouting at me, encouraging me. It's just amazing. It's unbelievable."
Byggmark comes from Tarnaby in Lapland, northern Sweden, the same small village as Swedish ski legend Ingemar Stenmark, who won an unprecedented 86 World Cup races.
"I know him pretty well but we're not buddies," Byggmark said.
Two-time overall champion Anja Paerson also comes from the same place.
Austria's Mario Matt improved on his third-place placing from the last slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, three weeks ago, finishing runner-up in 1:44.61.
Germany's Alois Vogl was third in 1:45.22.
Olympic champion Benjamin Raich, who was third going into the second leg, dropped into fifth place, 1.67 off the winning pace.
Switzerland's Marc Berthod, the surprise winner of the slushy slalom at Adelboden, crossed second after the opening leg but straddled a gate on his second trip down.
Defending World Cup slalom champion Giorgio Rocca, still returning to form after a knee injury, placed 14th.
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.


Updated : 2021-06-25 01:25 GMT+08:00