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Maier pips Von Grünigen to complete Adelboden hat-trick

Maier (centre) celebrates his win alongside Von Grünigen (left) and third-placed Frederik Nyberg


Austrian superstar Hermann Maier put in two almost flawless performances to win Tuesday's World Cup giant slalom ski race in Adelboden. His Swiss rival Michael von Grünigen took second place to stay ahead in the overall giant slalom rankings.

Maier's win maintained his perfect record in the Swiss resort. The Austrian has won all three of his previous races on the demanding Adelboden course.

After displaying his extraordinary skills once again in front of a 13,000-strong crowd, Maier spoke to swissinfo about his love for the event.

"I like it very much, it's a great place," he grinned. "The course is very tough, with a lot of bumps in the slope and the steep section at the end is very hard on the legs."

Von Grünigen was also a happy man on Tuesday, despite losing out to Maier by almost half a second. Indeed, the Swiss number one was fortunate to have made it onto the podium at all after nearly crashing out at the end of his first run.

"I'm happy with second place," he told swissinfo. "Hermann was too strong for me today, but that's okay. I just hope I can beat him at the next giant slalom."

Von Grünigen is still the strong favourite to take the overall giant slalom title. With just two races to go this season, the Swiss skier still has a 108-point lead over Maier.

The Austrian was quick to point out that that lead was helped in no small part by Maier's controversial disqualification from the giant slalom race in Val d'Isere. But whatever the off-piste arguments Maier admitted that the situation
brought with it at least one advantage.

"I would rather have the hundred points from Val d'Isere where I was the big favourite," he said. "But it will certainly make (the last two races) exciting for the spectators."

by Mark Ledsom


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