Bode Miller skis into win department; Sullivan 12th in DH
American Bode Miller captured the 26th World Cup win of his career and his first win this season Saturday at Bormio, Italy, the speed course where he claimed the 2005 downhill world championship.By winning the World Cup downhill, Miller moved into third place in the overall and DH standings, while also pulling within one victory of tying Phil Mahres U.S. record for wins.Miller, who also won the super G gold medal at the 05 championships in Bormio, led from the start, scorching the 3.3-kilometer Stelvio course to finish in 2:00.57. Austrian Andreas Buder was runner-up in 2:01.02, with Jan Hudec of Canada completing the podium in 2:01.11.Truckees Marco Sullivan was 12th with a time of 2:01.97.After 15 races, Austrian Benjamin Raich leads the points with 524. Didier Cuche of Switzerland is second with 503 and Miller is third at 406. Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, stands fifth overall (335) and tops the GS standings. In the World Cup DH standings, Michael Walchhofer of Austria leads with 230 and Didier Cuche of Switzerland is second (204) with Miller at 183.I tend to do better on the really tough courses. I focus more, said Miller, a three-time Olympian from Maines Carrabassett Valley Academy. Miller said he likes Stelvios lengthy run because of the continual challenge. In addition to Saturdays win and his two gold medals, Miller has two other top-5 results in downhill plus a podium in slalom in Bormio.His victory was a miracle, really, Miller said. If you want to make it down, youve got to take it easy on some of the curves. I just tried to hold on at the end I was out of gas.Mahres 27 World Cup wins include 11 combined triumphs, nine slaloms and seven giant slaloms. Millers career shows nine GS wins, five each in downhill, super G and slalom, and two more in combined. World Cup Finals will bring the tour back to Bormio in March. Miller hopes to repeat the win, but I dont know if I can do that again, he said.
The light, going from sunshine into shadows and back out again, was tricky for the racers. Youre in and out of the sunlight, and its that way through all the sections, said U.S. DH Head Coach Chris Brigham. Its long, but the biggest challenge is that light.He noted Sullivan crashed in the first training run Thursday and beat himself up pretty good, so for him to come down and match his best result in Bormio was impressive. Good for him. Americans Steven Nyman and Scott Macartney had trouble off a big jump in the middle section, with Nyman veering off-course a bit while Macartney missed a gate when he landed.