Austrians Helmuth Hoeflehner and Patrick Ortlieb, exploiting rapidly changing weather and snow condiditions, captured the top two spots and upset Swiss favorites in a World Cup downhill race Saturday in Val Gardena, Italy.
Late starts helped both Hoeflehner and Ortlieb, who skied in the second group with No. 23 and 30 respectively. It was Austria's first downhill victory in nearly three years.Peter Mueller of Switzerland, who won the season's opening downhill on same course Friday, finished third.
Hoeflehner flashed down the 3.4-kilometer course in 2:02.67 minutes. Ortlieb trailed his teammate by only 0.08 seconds. Mueller was 0.35 seconds behind the winner.
It was the sixth World Cup victory for Hoeflehner, 29, and his first since Garmisch in 1985.
The Austrian team, once a downhill super-power, had not won a downhill, the men's fastest discipline, since Anton Steiner's victory in March 1986.
"There was no wind, and visibility was perfect," said Hoeflehner, who finished 12th on Friday.
He said he changed skis, boots and coaches this season,"and I have a lot more motivation."
The winning time in Saturday's race was 2.16 seconds slower than Mueller's 2:00.51 minutes Friday.
*** Sweden's Jan Bokloev, fighting a sudden snow shower, soared to a final jump of 115 meters in near-perfect form to win the 90-meter competition at the Subaru Ski Jump International in Lake Placid, N.Y.
A crowd of 5,000 watched Bokloev win his first World Cup event, outdistancing Austrian Ernst Vettori and Finland's Pekka Suorsa. Bokloev sailed 119 meters on his first jump and his total score of 228.5 points bested Vettori, who had jumps of 114.5 and 110 meters and finished with 223.5 points.
Suorsa, who had jumps of 119.5 and 108 meters for 221.5 points, was second to Dieter Thoma of West Germany after the first round.
Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards of Great Britain, who won international fame but nothing competitively at Calgary, made somewhat of a breakthrough - he didn't finish last, edging Gerrit Konijnenberg of the Netherlands by a half-point for that honor. Both had final jumps of 62 meters but, amazingly, the bespectacled Edwards won on style by a half-point.