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Alpine World Cup

Grange takes first at World Cup slalom

Levi, Finland -- Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange won a wire-to-wire victory in Sunday's Alpine World Cup men's slalom at Levi, Finland Sunday.

Grange, who missed most of last season with a torn knee ligament, turned in a time of 1 minute, 46.64 seconds and edged Sweden's Andre Meyher by a fraction of a second.

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia placed third followed by Italy's Cristian Deville. Will Brandenberg of the United States placed eighth.

A tricky top section of the course took a toll on the field with 30 of 80 contestants falling out of the competition during the first run, including American Bode Miller.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Austrian Schild nips Riesch in Levi slalom

Levi, Finland -- Austria's Marlies Schild upended German world champion Maria Riesch Saturday to win the opening women's slalom event of the Alpine World Cup season in Finland.

Schild completed the Black course at Levi in 1 minute, 52.84 seconds, a scant three one-hundredths of a second faster than Riesch, who at one point led the field by more than a half-second.

Tanja Poutiainen of Finland was a distant third and Lindsey Vonn led the American team with a sixth-place finish.

Vonn had a good run going; however she slid wide on a hard right turn and had to fight to keep her balance. "She was so far off line and pulled it back together," said U.S. women's coach Trevor Wagner. "Without that mistake, she would have been right in there."