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Germany’s Hilde Gerg Wins Super-G

December 15, 2001

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VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) _ Germany’s Hilde Gerg won a super giant slalom Saturday in the first World Cup women’s race in France since the death of Regine Cavagnoud more than six weeks ago.

Gerg, the 1998 Olympic slalom champion, was timed in 1 minute, 12.23 seconds for her fourth victory on a super G World Cup course and her second in Val d’Isere.

Austrians Renate Goetschl (1:12.90) and Tanja Schneider (1:12.94) finished second and third on the icy slope.

The top American was Caroline Lavine in seventh place in 1:13.45. Picabo Street, who won the 1998 Olympic super G but is concentrating on the downhill this season, was 40th.

As she took the podium, Gerg asked that a minute of silence be observed for Cavagnoud, the French star who won the super G on this course last year. Cavagnoud died Oct. 31 after colliding with a German coach during practice in Austria.

``Everybody was crying,″ Gerg said. ``In super G she was the best and she’s not here. It’s hard to believe.″

The race also was shadowed by the accident involving Silvano Beltrametti, who crashed on the same Oreiller Killy course a week ago during a downhill. The Swiss skier was paralyzed from the chest down.

``It’s unbelievable that such injuries happen,″ Gerg said. ``But you don’t think about this if you’re racing.″

Gerg started in 12th place. Schneider was the first to start and was only 0.04 seconds slower than Goetschl.

``I just wanted to make a good race,″ Gerg said. ``I didn’t look at which girls were in front. It worked.″

Gerg leads the standings in her discipline and is third overall behind Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister and Italy’s Isolde Kostner.

Gerg finished fourth in the opening super G in Lake Louise, Alberta. Saturday’s race was the second super G this season following the cancellation of Friday’s event because of strong winds.

Gerg, who won a super G in Val d’Isere in 1996, is focusing on the downhill and the super G for the Salt Lake City Olympics. She broke a leg two nearly two years ago and is unable to train hard in all disciplines.

Goetschl has won six World Cup super Gs but none since February 2000. She has finished second in the super G three times in Val d’Isere but has never won the event on this course in a World Cup race.

``It’s a good slope here for me.″ she said. ``But I’m always beaten by Germans.″

Germany’s Petra Haltmayr, who won the season’s opening super G, finished 22nd.

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