BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) – Sweden’s Andre Myhrer won a slalom for his first World Cup victory Sunday, preserving his lead on a chopped-up Birds of Prey course during the second run.

Myhrer was followed by Canada’s Michael Janyk and Germany’s Felix Neureuther on a day when U.S. skiers did not deliver before home fans.

Bode Miller, who on Friday won a World Cup downhill for the first time in two years, left the course 37 seconds into his opening run.

U.S. teammate Ted Ligety, the Olympic combined champion who was third in Saturday’s giant slalom, was second going into the final leg but straddled a gate. The top American was Jimmy Cochran in 22nd place.

Myhrer was fastest in the opening leg, then consolidated his lead to win in 1 minute, 48.60 seconds. His previous best result was second in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, two seasons ago.

Janyk climbed from fifth after the opening run to second finish second in 1:49.33, the first World Cup podium of his career. Neureuther was third in 1:50.00, his first top-three finish.

The average age of the top three was only 23. Canada’s Thomas Grandi, 33, and Austria’s Manfred Pranger, 28, were the only veterans to crack the top 10. Only 22 of 30 skiers completed the second leg on a deteriorated course.

This marked the third consecutive race that Austrians failed to finish among the top three.

The last such result came from Olympic bronze medalist Rainer Schoenfelder in the super-combi.

Olympic champion Benjamin Raich straddled the second gate, putting a quick end to his hopes of winning his second slalom in as many tries. Raich won the season-opening slalom at Levi, Finland, three weeks ago.

“This is a thing that shouldn’t happen but sometimes it just does,” said Raich, who was 11th in Saturday’s giant slalom. “A similar thing happened in Wengen (Switzerland) last season, but I think I missed the third or fourth gate. Today it was only the second.”

Defending World Cup slalom champion Giorgio Rocca of Italy also straddled a gate, though he got a little further down the course.

“I was going from ice to snow and my skis gripped the snow,” said Rocca, who is returning from a knee injury. “I jerked forward and my ski hit the pole and then I was out.”

Miller completed Saturday’s giant slalom, posting the fastest time in the opening run but finished only 12th after catching his arm on a gate his second trip down. The last time Miller finished a slalom was in January in Kitzbuehel, Austria, where he finished 18th. Miller has not won a slalom since Dec. 13, 2004, in Sestriere, Italy.

After seven races, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal leads the World Cup overall standings with 235 points. Switzerland’s Didier Cuche sits second on 204, while Peter Fill of Italy is third with 184.

AP-ES-12-03-06 1611EST


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