Switzerland’s Paul Accola scored his first World Cup victory, holding off Italian Alberto Tomba in the second run of the men’s giant slalom Friday.
Accola, 24, winless in his five World Cup seasons and frustrated by runner-up finishes behind Tomba in two season-opening races, cashed in with two solid runs. The Swiss racer held nearly a full-second advantage over teammate Steve Locher after the first run, which was held in a light snowfall, and led Tomba, who was third, by 1.13 seconds.
Tomba, who had come from behind to win both the giant slalom and slalom last weekend at Park City, Utah, had the fastest second run, 1 minute 9.07 seconds, but Accola’s respectable 1:09.25 gave him a total time of 2:17.23, putting him 0.95 of a second ahead of Tomba.
In the finish area, Accola downplayed the revenge angle. “It’s just great to win,” he said, “and it is very good to beat Alberto. Right now, Alberto is the boss. Today, I put the boss down into second place.”
Tomba said he skied well and “had my opportunities. I had a good run, but Accola had a great run. I told him that if today he wins, that’s OK. I’ll win tomorrow.” A slalom is scheduled here today.
Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg, the four-time World Cup overall champion, had another disappointing result, tying for 14th in 2:20.35.
The United States’ top hope, Jeremy Nobis of Park City, was 16th after the first run, 2.30 seconds off the lead, then missed a gate and did not finish the second run.