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‘Speed specialist’ wins giant slalom

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ADELBODEN, Switzerland ? Didier Cuche of Switzerland won a men's giant slalom Saturday for his first World Cup victory in nearly four years.

Cuche, among the top 10 in more than 30 races over the past three seasons without ever winning, delivered two aggressive runs for a winning combined time of 2 minutes, 23.99 seconds.

He finished a whopping 1.15 seconds ahead of Frederic Covili of France to collect his first career win in the giant slalom.

"I can't believe it, it's been such a long, long wait," Cuche said. "I knew it would happen again, but I have to admit I was wondering when."

The 27-year-old skier's only other World Cup victory came in a downhill in Kitzb?hel, Austria, in 1998. Known as a speed specialist, Cuche suddenly has had success in the giant slalom this season. He already had third-, fourth- and sixth-place finishes.

Erik Schlopy, 13th after the opening, nearly crashed in the second run, dropping to 27th.