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Cuche Wins His First World Cup Race

January 23, 1998

KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP) _ Didier Cuche of Switzerland won the two-heat sprint downhill today, scoring his first World Cup victory.

Cuche, who also led after the first run, won in an aggregate two minutes and 31.55 seconds. He edged Frenchman Nicolas Burtin, who was clocked in 2:31.69. Jean-Luc Cretier, another Frenchman, was third in 2:31.87.

Fourth place was shared by Swiss skier Juerg Gruenenfelder and another Frenchman, Adrien Duvillard.

The Swiss and the French ended the string of Austrian success. The top Austrian finisher was Andreas Schifferer, who was sixth. Austria’s top skier, Hermann Maier, passed up the race because of inflammation in his shins.

The Austrian team also suffered a blow when Roland Assinger was hurt in a spill and taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Team physician Karl Benedetto said Assinger suffered a shoulder dislocation, an unspecified leg injury and bleeding cuts.

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