Manfred Pranger of Austria won a World Cup slalom race Sunday for his first victory in four years, while Bode Miller lost control in the second run and did not finish.
Miller, the defending overall champion, skied out in the second
run of the slalom after finishing 23rd in the first. He stretched
his season-long winless streak to 20 races.
Also, Scott Macartney's knee injury from a Saturday crash in the
downhill in Austria forced him to return the United States for
treatment. Macartney was set to compete in the Hahnenkahm race next
Saturday in Kitzbuehel, Austria - the same race in which he was
involved in a horrific crash at nearly 90 mph last year.
On Sunday, Pranger led after the first run and finished the
second in 52.26 seconds for a combined time of 1 minute, 40.36
seconds. Reinfried Herbst of Austria was second, 0.34 behind, and
Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was third.
Jean Baptiste-Grange of France, who finished sixth, kept his
lead in the World Cup slalom standings. Benjamin Raich of Austria
was fifth and kept his lead in the overall standings.
Pranger won his third World Cup. He earn two in a three-day span
in January 2005 before his career was derailed by a series of
"I definitely remember how it feels to win," Pranger said.
"This great feeling is what makes you want to come back."
He said his teammate Herbst encouraged him during recovery from
a serious knee injury in 2007. Herbst, the Olympic silver medalist
in slalom, also has returned from knee injuries.
"You can't be jealous of Manni's victory," Herbst said. "I
think he deserves it. He works very hard for what he gets."
The pair said they hoped to restore the host nation's pride a
day after a "debacle" Saturday in the classic Lauberhorn downhill
at Wengen, when the best finish by an Austrian was 18th.
Austria had four of the top five in Sunday's slalom. American
Ted Ligety was 12th after finishing eighth in the first run.
Raich leads the overall standings with 638 points, with Grange
second at 576. Kostelic's podium finish has him third overall,
trailing Raich by 92.
"This is my fifth time here at Wengen on the podium," Kostelic
said. "I really love this course because it's very classic. Skiing
history was made here."
Grange holds a 349-305 edge over Kostelic in the slalom
standings. Pranger and Herbst are next, ahead of another home race
at Kitzbuehel next weekend.
"It's great to go there as a winner," Pranger said. "It's
always a difficult course but everything is good there."