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Ortlieb Wins Downhill Event

December 17, 1995|From Staff and Wire Reports

With a perfect run on a course he knows by heart, former Olympic champion Patrick Ortlieb of Austria won the third downhill race of the World Cup season Saturday in Val Gardena, Italy.

"I raced this course at least 30 times. I know it by heart and without a doubt it's my race," said Ortlieb, who beat Xavier Gigandet of Switzerland by 0.44 seconds and Frenchman Luc Alphand by 0.48 down the 3,446-meter Saslong track, with a vertical drop of 839 meters.

He reached peak speeds of more than 66 mph on a course with several bumps but few difficult turns.

The 28-year-old skier from Lech, an Olympic downhill champion in 1992, ended the winning streak of Alphand, who had taken the two previous downhills in Vail and Val D'Isere and the last speed race of the 1994-95 season in Bormio.

Olympic downhill champion Tommy Moe of the United States, still competing with a bandaged knee following last season's injury, could not push too hard and finished 50th, more than three seconds slower than the winner.


Picabo Street tied for third place in the women's World Cup downhill in St. Anton, Austria, in a race dominated by Austrians.

Led by Michaela Dorfmeister, who scored her first career victory, the Austrians took first and second places and shared third with Street.

Dorfmeister covered the 2,950-meter Kandahar course in 1 minute, 36.34 seconds for the first downhill victory by an Austrian woman in two years.

She was followed by teammate Alexandra Meissnitzer, who finished in 1:36.47.

Renate Goetschl tied for third with Street, whose string of six consecutive downhill victories ended Friday. The two were timed in 1:36.52.


Defending World Cup overall champion Sylke Otto led a German sweep of men's and women's luge events in Winterberg, Germany, by winning a singles event over three teammates.

Otto completed two runs in 1 minute, 21.788 seconds, defeating Jana Bode, Susi Erdmann and Gabi Kohlisch. Bode, second in 1:21.804, had her lead in the World Cup overall standings trimmed to 11 points. She has 99 to 88 for fellow Germans Otto, Kohlisch and Erdmann.

Erdmann was third in 1:21.955, a mere .004 faster than Kohlisch.

Stefan Krausse and Jan Behrendt gave Germany the gold in the men's doubles race, beating the other German team of Yves Mankel and Thomas Rudolph by 0.326 seconds.

The United States placed three teams in the top 10 of the men's race and got an eighth from Cammy Myler of Lake Placid, N.Y., in the women's singles.


Bjorn Daehlie of Norway scored his fourth victory of the World Cup cross country ski season by winning the 10-kilometer classical race in Santa Caterina, Italy.

Daehlie, the defending overall Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist in this event, finished in 25:35.6, 22.4 seconds ahead of top rival Vladimir Smirnov of Kazakhstan.


Sven Fischer of Germany won the 10-kilometer event on Holmenkollen's trails in Oslo for his second consecutive World Cup biathlon victory.

Germany also dominated the women's 7 1/2-kilometer event with Uschi Disl and Petra Behle finishing 1-2.


American Olympian Troy Benson won his first World Cup moguls skiing event, edging teammate Jim Moran by two-hundredths of a point in LaPlagne, France.

In the women's event, LaPlagne's Candice Gilg and Tatjana Mittermayer of Germany flip-flopped their 1-2 finish from the opening bumps event a week ago.


Ari-Pekka Nikkola and Janne Ahonen of Finland finished 1-2 in a World Cup ski jumping competition in Chamonix, France.


Fred Couples shot an even-par 71 and took a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship of Golf in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Couples, who had five birdies on the back nine, completed 54 holes at five-under 208.

Fiji's Vijay Singh, one of three players who shared the 36-hole lead, shot a 72 and was at 209. Loren Roberts shot a 70 and was at 210, two strokes ahead of Mark Calcavecchia, who had a 70.

Raymond Floyd and Michael Chiklis won the inaugural Lexus challenge in La Quinta by three strokes over Jim Colbert and William Devane.

Floyd, the tournament host, joined with Chiklis to shoot an eight-under 64 for a two-day total of 127.


Free-agent catcher Mike Macfarlane is back with the Kansas City Royals after signing a two-year contract.

David Cone has eliminated the Florida Marlins from consideration and will decide this week whether to sign with Baltimore or the New York Yankees.

Baltimore has offered $15 million for three years. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, who met with Cone on Friday at Tampa, Fla., is thought to be offering more.

Ozzie Smith will apparently be back with the St. Louis Cardinals next season, and Gary Gaetti may be joining him.

The Cardinals confirmed that Smith had been cleared by a physician to play next year.

And the Cardinals may soon have a new third baseman. General Manager Walt Jocketty said he was close to signing an infielder, and sources told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it will be Gaetti, 37.

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