The result sheet confirmed that Alberto Tomba, the burly Bologna fireball, finished first in a World Cup slalom race at this resort in northern Norway. But Tomba wasn't the only winner.

Pirmin Zurbriggen couldn't beat Tomba on Tuesday only one skier has done that in seven slaloms this season but a fourth-place finish kept alive the Swiss star's hopes of winning a second straight overall title and third of his career. The 25 points Tomba collected for his ninth victory of the season moved him back into first place in the tight overall battle, but Zurbriggen got a badly needed 12 in his least-favorite event to trail only 274-272 lead heading into the last weekend of the season."This was a very important race for me and I'm so happy that I finally did well in a slalom," said Zurbriggen, who matched his best performance of the year in that discipline after failing to score in three previous slaloms.

Zurbriggen is an all-around skier who competes in all four Alpine disciplines downhill, super giant slalom, giant slalom and slalom. Tomba doesn't ski in downhills, which gives him some extra time to practice for his specialties.

"I didn't have time to train," Zurbriggen said. "I was racing every day."

"I still think I have a very good chance to win the overall," Tomba said after beating Japanese sensation Tetsuya Okabe by .55 seconds. "I raced very relaxed today. I had no problems. I learn a lot from every race."