Ski Roundup : Vreni Schneider Catches Diann Roffe With Faster Second Run in Slalom

From Times Wire Services

Vreni Schneider of Switzerland had a blistering second run Sunday at Waterville Valley, N.H., to overtake Diann Roffe in the final giant slalom event of the women's World Cup season.

Schneider had a two-run time of 2:08.11, coming from .20 seconds behind Roffe after the first run, to beat the American's two-run time of 2:08.31.

"From the start (of the second run), I went all out," Schneider said. "That's what you have to do if you are behind and want to win.

"I didn't have a great feeling on the second run, but often when that happens, I have the best times. I thought I lost time on the first steep drop, but apparently I didn't."

Schneider earned her second victory of the season--and the 25th for the powerful Swiss team--by turning in a second run in 1:03.07, fastest of the afternoon.

Roffe, a 17-year-old from Williamson, N.Y., who won the giant slalom race Wednesday at Lake Placid, N.Y., appeared in control after posting a faster intermediate time than Schneider on the second run. But Roffe went wide five gates from the end, and the time lost to maintain her balance cost her the victory.

"I took a few too many chances," Roffe said. "I didn't have a great big lead where I could play it safe.

"I really felt good going into the bottom, then I messed up a little bit. I let my skis run a little straighter than I should.".

In the final World Cup giant slalom standings, Marina Kiehl of West Germany prevailed over Michela Figini of Switzerland. Both women finished with 110 points, but officials said Kiehl won the title under a tie-breaking formula. Schneider wound up third in the giant slalom standings.

Under the tie-breaking system, Kiehl wins because she has two third-place finishes to one third-place finish for Figini. Both women have three first-place finishes and one second-place finish.

Figini clinched the overall World Cup title, adding it to her downhill title.

"The overall title is nice, but today I was concentrating on the giant slalom," said Figini, who didn't finish in the top 15.

At Panorama Mountain, Canada, Switzerland's Pirmin Zurbriggen won his second super-giant race of the season, keeping alive his slim hopes of repeating his 1984 overall World Cup championship.

Zurbriggen, considered by some the best all-round skier since Jean-Claude Killy, beat his nearest competitor, Italy's Robert Erlacher, by more than a second, flying through the finish line of the season's fifth and final super giant in 1:47.10.

The 23-year-old defending overall champion won gold at the super-giant at Puy-Saint-Vincent, but it was his first victory since winning at the World Championships at Bormio, Italy, last month.

The win gave the apprentice cook second place in the final giant slalom standings, behind Luxembourg's Marc Girardelli, who clinched the title last week at Aspen, Colo.

Erlacher, the Olympic slalom gold medal giant slalom racer at Sarajevo, finished in a distant 1:48.37. The second-place finish moved the Italian into fourth position in the giant slalom standings.

Switzerland's Thomas Buergler was third in 1:48.62, giving him the same position in the standings.

Girardelli was seventh in 1:49.37, but has all but won the 1985 overall title.

Zurbriggen must win the final two slaloms at Park City, Utah, and Heavenly Valley, Calif., to catch Girardelli.

West Germany's Markus Wasmaier was fourth in 1:48.76; Austria's Hubert Strolz was fifth in 1:49.05; Yugoslavia's Jure Franko placed sixth in 1:49.16.

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