Austria's Matt wins tough men's slalom

March 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM
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KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia, March 6 (UPI) -- Mario Matt of Austria won Sunday's World Cup men's slalom in Slovenia, which saw disappointing performances by some of the season's top stars.

Matt won the event with a combined time of 1 minute, 49.14 seconds, less than a 10th of a second faster than Nolan Kasper of the United States and Sweden's Axel Baeck, who tied for second.

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, the season leader in the slalom points standings, and French star Jean-Baptiste Grange of France were among 40 contestants who either failed to finish or were disqualified on the steep and tricky Podkoren course.

"You have to know where to go and where to stay back and stay ahead of it because it drops down to eight meters," said Kasper. "You have to stay ahead of it or you are going to lose everything."

Despite the challenges and the second-place finish, the U.S. team enjoyed a good weekend in Europe. Kasper's second was one of six podium finishes for the American men and women.

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