Two-time Olympic champion Andre Lange directed his German four-man bobsled team to a World Cup victory over the United States yesterday in Altenberg, Germany.
Lange and his team - Rene Hoppe, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze - finished 0.76 seconds ahead of the U.S. team led by Steven Holcomb. The American had driven to victory in the three previous World Cup four-man races and leads the standings.
Holcomb was joined by his reigning world-championship team of Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz. Holcomb bounced back from a crash in Saturday's two-man race.
Russia's Evgeny Popov - with Denis Moiseychenkov, Andrey Yurkov and Alexey Kireev - was third for his first podium finish since February 2007.
Italian skiers dominate. Italian skiers Max Blardone and Davide Simoncelli finished 1-2 in the World Cup on the challenging Gran Risa giant slalom on home snow in Alta Badia.
U.S. skiers had a mixed day, with Bode Miller failing to qualify for the second run and Ted Ligety finishing seventh.
Blardone led both legs and clocked a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 35.76 seconds for his fifth World Cup victory - all in giant slalom. Simoncelli finished 0.43 seconds behind.
Swiss women prevail. In Val d'Isere, France, Franzi Aufdenblatten posted her first World Cup victory in leading a 1-2 Swiss finish in a super-G, and Lindsey Vonn placed third to retake sole possession of the lead in the overall standings.
The 28-year-old Aufdenblatten upset the favorites to finish in 1:26.43 on the Oreiller-Killy course, 0.23 seconds ahead of Nadia Styger.
Noteworthy. In Ramsau, Austria, Bjorn Kircheisen of Germany won a Nordic combined World Cup event for his 14th career victory. Kircheisen finished in 23:29.7 seconds to edge Magnus Moan of Norway by 0.4 seconds. . . . Petter Northug of Norway won a 30-kilometer World Cup cross-country mass-start race, edging Alexander Legkov of Russia by 0.7 seconds in Rogla, Slovenia. . . . Svetlana Sleptsova of Russia won a World Cup biathlon 10-kilometer pursuit for her second victory in two days in Pokljuka, Slovenia. . . . In Changchun, China, Jia Zongyang captured the men's freestyle aerials World Cup event in his home country, and China also swept the top three spots in the women's competition. Jana Lindsey of the U.S. finished fourth.