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Cuche comes second in downhill classic

Swiss skier Didier Cuche has taken second place in the first downhill classic race of the World Cup in the Italian resort of Val Gardena.

The race was won by Austrian Michael Walchhofer, who covered the 3.446-kilometre Saslong course in 1 minute, 56.70 seconds. Cuche, who won Friday's Super G, was just 0.18 seconds behind.

Scott Macartney of the United States took a surprise third place.

Another Swiss, Ambrosi Hoffmann, was fifth, in another good day for the Swiss team after Didier Défago came fourth in the Super G on Friday.

Cuche, the 2007 World Cup downhill champion, had looked secure until Walchhofer's run, but said he was still pleased with the result.

"I knew it was going to be tight. Walchhofer was always fast at the top and was fast again. But I'm happy to be second," he said.

The Women's World Cup Downhill, taking place in the Swiss resort of St Moritz, was won by Anja Pärson of Sweden. The best-placed Swiss was Fränzi Aufdenblatten in fifth.


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