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Von Grünigen fourth in Bormio

A Swiss-free podium in Bormio after von Grünigen just missed out

(Keystone)

Swiss skier Michael von Grünigen has held onto top spot in the World Cup giant slalom standings after coming fourth in the latest race at the Italian resort of Bormio.

Von Grünigen suffered from a poor first run in heavy fog but moved up from seventh place with a much-improved second run.

The first two places in Thursday's race were won by relatively unknown skiers. Austria's Christoph Gruber recorded his first ever World Cup win, closely followed by America's Erik Schloppy.

Schloppy's performance was the best World Cup giant slalom effort by an American since 1984. Sweden's Frederik Nyberg took third place.

Austrian superstar Hermann Maier had an off-day, slipping back from third on the first run to 10th. Maier was only given permission on Wednesday to compete in the race after originally being banned from the Bormio event.

The International Ski Federation disqualified the Austrian from last Sunday's giant slalom in Val d'Isère, after he flouted pre-race rules at the French resort. Von Grünigen went on to win that race in Maier's absence and snatch the lead in the giant slalom competition.

The Swiss skier's performance in Bormio has now helped him consolidate that lead. Von Grünigen now has 350 points and is 64 points ahead of Maier with four giant slalom races remaining.

swissinfo with agencies



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