Austrian Hans Knaus was doubly successful, getting his first World Cup victory and his biggest paycheck ever.
Knaus, a 24-year-old from Schladming, beat race favorites Michael Von Gruenigen and Alberto Tomba at Alta Badia, Italy, in the giant slalom and collected $62,500.
Third in a giant slalom at Park City, Utah, last month and again third in a Super-G at Val D’Isere last week, Knaus skied aggressively down the steep Gran Risa course clocking the fastest time on both runs for an unbeatable aggregate of 2 minutes, 35.34 seconds.
A big weekend for the Austrian women ended when Elfi Eder won the slalom and teammate Anita Wachter claimed the combined, giving their team three World Cup victories in two days at St. Anton, Austria.
Eder, an Olympic silver medalist, completed the two runs with a combined time of 1 minute, 40.95 seconds, collecting her second slalom victory of the season.
Wachter, 17th in Saturday’s downhill, finished 12th in the slalom, won the combined with a total time of 3:23.33.
Bjorn Daehlie continued his dominance of World Cup cross-country skiing, capturing a 15-kilometer combined event at Santa Caterina, Italy, that moved the Norwegian within one victory of tying the career record.