Originally created 12/30/04

Downhiller Grugger gets first World Cup win

BORMIO, Italy - Austrian downhiller Johann Grugger won his first World Cup race Wednesday on the course that will host the upcoming world championships, while overall Cup leader Bode Miller came in 14th.

Grugger finished in 1 minute, 55.77 seconds on the Stelvio, one of the most physically demanding courses on the World Cup circuit. Austrian Michael Walchhofer, the reigning downhill world champion, was 0.24 seconds behind in second and countryman Fritz Strobl, the Olympic gold medalist, was third.

Austria's Benjamin Raich, second to Miller in the overall standings, was 17th, and defending overall champion Hermann Maier, winless this season, was 11th.

Grugger was behind Walchhofer's pace for most of his run before picking up his speed over the final section. His previous best finished were two third-places in downhills, at Val Gardena on Dec. 18 and St. Anton last season.

Daron Rahlves of the United States, who won the last race held here in 2002, was sixth.

The worlds will be held at Bormio - and nearby Santa Caterina for women - from Jan. 28 to Feb. 13.


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