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Benjamin Raich Wins Giant Slalom

December 21, 2005

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) _ Benjamin Raich of Austria easily won a World Cup giant slalom after rivals Bode Miller and Hermann Maier took spills Wednesday.

Raich got his first victory of the season and 17th of his World Cup career. His time was 2 minutes, 22.46 seconds. Massimiliano Blardone of Italy was second in 2:23.46, followed by Thomas Grandi of Canada in 2:23.61.

Blardone moved ahead of Miller in the giant slalom standings, 240 points to 180, after the reigning World Cup overall champion lost control at the top of the slope and fell sideways on the second run.

Miller, fifth after the first leg, also fell four days earlier in a giant slalom won by Blardone.

Austrian Maier, a four-time overall champion, was second after the first run but flew into the air and went through a banner before skidding into the safety netting on the second leg. He threw a scare into the spectators, lying motionless for a minute before climbing to his feet.

Erik Schlopy of the United States finished sixth, followed by compatriot James Cochran.

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