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Switzerland’s Von Gruenigen Grabs Third Straight World Cup Victory By .02 Seconds

Switzerland’s Michael von Gruenigen overcame a warm sun and deteriorating race conditions Saturday to continue his giant slalom mastery on the World Cup tour with his third straight victory.

“It’s a great achievement and a great feeling to win three races in a row,” von Gruenigen said after a strong finish in the second run relegated Norway’s Lasse Kjus to second place for the third straight time.

Luck played a role, von Gruenigen conceded, saying he could have placed second in each of the season’s first three races.

For Kjus, the loss by .02 seconds was bitter.

“I wanted to win this race,” he said. “I would have been happy with second place if he would have won by more than two-hundredths.”

A lack of fresh snow and unseasonably warm temperatures in the high 50s softened and slowed the course, which quickly became rutted during the first run and markedly slower during the second. Meanwhile, at Lake Louise, Albert, warm temperatures and soft snow forced the cancellation of women’s World Cup slalom and giant slalom races.