Daron Rahlves's excitement over a milestone victory on the notorious Hahnenkamm was not diminished by a shortened course. Rahlves yesterday became the first American to win a men's World Cup downhill on Hahnenkamm by charging down the shortened Streif course in 1 minute 9.63 seconds in Kitzbuehel, Austria. It was his second downhill victory of the season.
Buddy Werner is the only other American to win a downhill on the famed Hahnenkamm, considered to be the most dangerous on the World Cup circuit. Werner triumphed in 1959, nine years before the World Cup was created. Werner, a two-time Olympian, died in an avalanche in Switzerland in 1964, shortly after racing in the Innsbruck Olympics.
"I'm just trying to soak it up right now," Rahlves said. "It's every downhiller's dream to win on the Hahnenkamm."
Switzerland's Didier Cuche finished second in 1:09.68. Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt was third in 1:09.71.
The start of the race was delayed more than 21/2 hours because of fog. Organizers were forced to lower the start to the Alte Schneise section because of time restrictions. As a result of the lower start, skiers skipped the Mausefalle (Mousetrap) and the Steilhung.
The Mausefalle is one of the most spectacular drops on the circuit with a 60-degree slope. It leads into the treacherous Steilhung, where skiers reach speeds of more than 60 mph.
Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., who leads the overall World Cup standings, was eighth in 1:10.10 . . .
In Maribor, Slovenia, Sweden's Anja Paerson used two near-flawless runs to win her second straight World Cup giant slalom title. Austria's Nicole Hosp finished second and Germany's Martina Ertl took third.
* FIGURE SKATING: Evgeny Plushenko focused on presentation and used his "best clean program" to win his third European championship. Against a field depleted by injury, the Olympic silver medalist hit a quad and eight triple jumps in a near-flawless program to complete a title sweep by the Russians in Malmo, Sweden. Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh won their first ice dance title, Irina Slutskaya claimed her fifth women's title and Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin defended their pairs championship to complete the sweep.
* CROSS-COUNTRY: In Oberhof, Germany, Sweden's Mathias Fredriksson won the 15-kilometer classical style World Cup event to move atop the overall standings and Norway's Bente Skari won the women's 10K classical.
* NORDIC COMBINED: In Sapporo, Japan, Germany's Ronny Ackermann rallied from fourth place to win his second straight World Cup event.
* LUGE: Germany's Georg Hackl won a World Cup event in Igls, Austria, to close within 35 points of overall leader Markus Kleinheinz of Austria.