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World Cup Skiing: Raich, Maier 1-2 Again

December 21, 2005

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) _ Austrians Benjamin Raich and Hermann Maier have a big lead after the first run of the World Cup giant slalom on Wednesday, setting up a possible repeat of their 1-2 finish in last year’s event at Kranjska Gora.

Raich had a time of 1 minute, 10.46 seconds, while Maier was a close second at 1:10.73.

``It’s not that the Austrians have shaken off the rest of the world,″ Raich said. ``A lot can still happen. It’s hard to see at the bottom of the course.″

Raich was nearly a second ahead of American Daron Rahlves, who is third at 1:11.42. Another hundredth of a second back was Italy’s Massimiliano Blardone, who won last week’s giant slalom event in his home country.

Bode Miller, the overall World Cup leader, was fifth after a time of 1:11.50.

Maier will move ahead of Miller in the giant slalom standings if he finishes better than the American this week.

Miller’s overall lead is also in jeopardy. He entered this event with 442 points, 17 better than Norway’s Svindal Aksel Lund and 22 ahead of another Austrian, Michael Walchhofer.

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