Raich wins giant slalom

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ADELBODEN, Switzerland - Olympic champion Benjamin Raich rediscovered his winning touch, capturing a World Cup giant slalom for the first time this season. For Bode Miller, it was more of the same - he failed to finish.

Austria's Benjamin Raich speeds down the course during his win in an Alpine ski World Cup men's giant slalom race, in Adelboden, Switzerland. American star Bode Miller failed to finish the race.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Austria's Benjamin Raich speeds down the course during his win in an Alpine ski World Cup men's giant slalom race, in Adelboden, Switzerland. American star Bode Miller failed to finish the race.

Miller, a contender this season in the overall standings, appeared to misjudge the slope on Saturday. He dropped onto his side and veered off course. Ted Ligety was the top American, finishing 17th.

"Today was a sad way to begin the new year," U.S. coach Phil McNichol said. "It was a very poor showing from our guys with how strong we've been. Bode went out. Ted had his worse finish in any World Cup race he's finished.

Raich of Austria had a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.29 seconds on his two runs on the Kuonisbaergli course for his 25th career World Cup victory.

Massimiliano Blardone of Italy, who won the season-opening giant slalom, finished second in 2:26.14. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was third in 2:26.29, padding his lead atop the World Cup overall standings.

Olympic slalom and combined bronze medalist Rainer Schoenfelder, who injured his head and neck during a crash in training Wednesday, was disqualified in the first leg after kicking out of the start hut too early.

The Adelboden giant slalom is the last before the world championships next month in Are, Sweden.

The U.S. team entered only five skiers because it has lost several to injury, including Erik Schlopy, who is out for the season with knee damage.

McNichol told The Associated Press that Bryon Friedman re-fractured his lower leg. Friedman was making his comeback this season after shattering both shins in his lower right leg during training two years ago.

"It's a hairline fracture where it was repaired so he's out for a while," McNichol said.

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