Austria’s Matt wins, after Buraas misses gate early in second run


ITALY, AP

Mario Matt led an Austrian podium sweep Tuesday, winning the season’s third World Cup slalom race after first-round leader Hans-Petter Buraas missed a gate early in the final run of the day. Matt notched a combined time of one minute, 44.00 seconds, comfortably ahead of Austrian teammates Heinz Schilchegger and Rainer Schoenfelder. Norway’s Buraas, who led Matt after the first round by 0.27 seconds, clipped a gate some 10 seconds into his second run. Buraas, the 1998 Olympic gold medalist in the slalom, won his first ever World Cup race last week in Sestiere, Italy. Following Tuesday’s race, Matt and Schilchegger are tied atop the World Cup slalom standings with 180 points. Buraas, who came into the race with the slalom season lead, drops to third in the standings at 150. Schilchegger, who was disqualified last week after an apparent victory, finished nearly a half-second back of Matt, with a two-heat time of 104.48. Schoenfelder finished third with a time of 104.94, after recording the best second run time of 50.64 seconds to move up from 15th place. Matt, who won two slalom World Cup events last season, charged down the slope on the second round, notching the third best time of the heat. “I knew I was in good shape coming into the season,” Matt said after the race. “But I needed two good runs in the same race to get a victory.” Austria’s Hermann Maier — the reigning World Cup overall and giant slalom champion — did not compete in the Madonna di Campiglio race after being disqualified from Sunday’s giant slalom in Val d’Isere, France, for breaking the time limit on his morning inspection run.