Palander Wins Slalom Despite Cast on Arm

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FLACHAU, Austria, Jan. 5 2004 (AP by Erica Bulman) -- Finland's Kalle Palander won a World Cup slalom Sunday despite a cast on his arm, and Bode Miller again failed to finish.

Palander, the defending World Cup slalom champion, has tendinitis in his right forearm. He was timed in 1 minute, 42.24 seconds, finishing 0.54 seconds ahead of Manfred Pranger of Austria. Italy's Giorgio Rocca was third in 1:42.80.

Miller straddled a gate midway down the run a day after he skidded off the course in a giant slalom. He has not scored points in a slalom since the end of last February when he was sixth in South Korea.

"He is struggling with equipment and execution and it's tough to have confidence when you haven't finished so many slaloms in a row," U.S. coach Phil McNichol said.

The top American was Tom Rothrock in 23rd place.

Palander has been wearing his cast since before Christmas because of repetitive motion syndrome.

"The cast is not a problem," he said. "In a race you can have pain and you don't feel anything. It's in training that it's a problem. But I had injections and it was all right."

Benjamin Raich, the winner of Saturday's giant slalom, was third heading into the final leg but dropped to fourth.

Palander jumped from fourth to first in the discipline's rankings, tied with Pranger. The Finn also climbed from ninth to third in the overall standings. Austria's Hermann Maier is the overall leader, followed by Raich. Miller is 10th.

Miller was knocked out of the race after taking a very direct line above the hairpin, hitting a gate with his boots and catching a buckle. It caused his feet to lock, and he went into the hairpin stumbling.

The men's slalom heads for the circuit's tougher races, the classics in Chamonix, Wengen and Kitzbuehel.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press