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World Cup Skiing : Zurbriggen Scores First Slalom Victory of Season

February 24, 1986| From Times Wire Services

ARE, Sweden — Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland mastered a steep course which wiped out 70% of the field Sunday to score his first World Cup slalom victory of the season, and the second of his career.

Second after the first heat, Zurbriggen powered down the afternoon leg to win in an aggregate time of 1 minute 32.53 seconds.

"The victory was not surprising because I've been working on slalom. This is a confirmation of the win in Sestriere," said Zurbriggen, referring to his first slalom victory in Italy last season.

"I felt really good this morning, I just skied free and full. I did not hold anything back."

Rok Petrovic of Yugoslavia, winner of three previous slaloms this season, led after the first leg. But in the second he was slower than Zurbriggen and finally straddled the next to last gate and was disqualified.

That left Paul Frommelt of Liechtenstein to take second place with 1:33.52, with Swedish world champion Jonas Nilsson third in 1:33.66. Austria's Hubert Strolz and Bojan Krizaj tied for fourth place in 1:33.94.

Many of the other favorites crashed out on the first run, unable to master a treacherously long, steep, middle section of the course, which dropped 203 meters and had 59 gates in the first run, 57 in the second.

Six of the 15 skiers in the top-seeded group went out on the first heat, including defending World Cup champion and 1986 leader Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg and local favorite Ingemar Stenmark.

The second run was no easier as only 5 of the first 16 made it successfully to the finish. From the original field of 94, just 28 completed both runs properly.

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