WENGEN, Switzerland (AP) – Jean-Baptiste Grange of France used a strong slalom leg to win a World Cup super-combi Friday, ahead of Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland and Bode Miller of the United States.

Grange finished 27th in the downhill leg, but put down the fastest slalom race of the day for a combined time of 2 minutes, 20.61 seconds.

Albrecht was second with 2:20.67, while Miller clocked 2:21.12

It was the first World Cup super-combi win for Grange, a slalom specialist. His previous best result in the discipline was a second-place finish in November in Beaver Creek, Colo.

“Today, I’ve shown a very good downhill. I’ve made very little mistakes,” he said. “I was already very happy to be in the top 30 in the downhill.”

Albrecht, who won the super-combi and giant slalom in Beaver Creek, said he was happy with his showing.

“Second in a World Cup is great,” he said. “Six hundredths of a second, you can lose them anywhere.”

Miller, who broke away from the U.S. Ski Team to compete on his own this season, finished fourth in the downhill leg, raising expectations for another podium finish in Sunday’s race in the discipline.

He won his first World Cup event of the season last month in the downhill in Bormio, Italy.

“Today I was engaged in the course,” Miller said. “My mind was working.”

World Cup overall leader Benjamin Raich of Austria was fourth, 0.04 seconds from the podium.

Olympic combined champion Ted Ligety of the United States finished fifth in the best result for the U.S. Ski Team.

Steven Nyman of the United States, who came sixth in the downhill leg, missed a gate in the slalom and did not finish. Teammate Thomas Lanning did not finish the slalom after straddling a gate at the top.

Didier Cuche of Switzerland was fastest in the downhill leg, just ahead of Marco Buechel of Liechtenstein. Neither of the two speed specialists raced in the slalom.

Raich leads the overall standings with 690 points, ahead of Albrecht with 526 points and Cuche with 525 points. Miller is fourth with 466 points.

Speed specialists like Cuche hope to gain more points on Sunday’s downhill, the highlight of the Lauberhorn races.

Albrecht is tied with Grange in the super-combi World Cup standings with 180 points each. Miller is third in the discipline standings with 110 points.

The slalom is Saturday.

AP-ES-01-11-08 1137EST


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