Bode Miller wins world championship super G in BormioTweet
Bode Miller wins world championship super G in BormioBode Miller of Franconia, New Hampshire, won the world championship super G today, despite several mistakes on the tricky Bormio slope. Two Austrians, Michael Walchhofer and Benjamin Raich, were second and third.
“It’s a world championship title,” said Miller. “Sometimes you win medals with bad skiing, and sometimes you win with good skiing. Today it was a mix for me.” Click here for Bode’s words.
Wearing bib 27, Miller stumbled while pushing out of the start (he misplanted his pole). Later, he misjudged the San Pietro jump and came off going the wrong direction. He recovered, but got onto a low line for the next several gates coming onto the flats.
“I didn’t think I had a chance at winning,” Miller said later. “From there to the finish I skied it as well I could possibly ski. I was super aggressive, really cutting off the line. But when I came across the finish line, I thought there was no chance that I was going to win.”
Miller shook his head in disappointment, but when the snowspray settled and he could see the scoreboard, it showed him a 0.68 lead over his World Cup rival Benjamin Raich. The two stayed in first and second even after the last of the top-ranked super G skiers, Hermann Maier, crossed the line.
Maier finished fourth, and said that the he had underestimated how straight the course-set was. “I skied like it was giant slalom training,” he said, jokingly.
The Austrians who took silver and bronze were two of Maier’s cohorts from the Austrian top gun squad (the “WC4″ team consists of those Austrians who could challenge Miller for the overall World Cup title).
“Bode had run an exceptional race and Hermann was perhaps not having a good day,” said Walchhofer, whose best event is downhill. “May I also say that Hermann does not give up very easily and he will contemplate how to improve himself in the near future.”
Raich made a mistake similar to that of Miller on the San Pietro jump. “It’s true, I probably chose the line that was too direct,” said Raich, “but I am proud of the way I skied. When you have to be fast, it is only logical that you take risks and may make some mistakes.”
Miller stayed in the finish area for almost two hours after his run, giving interviews to dozens of European television and radio reporters. He also talked to English-speaking reporters from Sports Illustrated, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, AP, Reuters, the Rocky Mountain News and the Sunday Times of London.
Miller accepted his award on a podium and posed for pictures. He had his blood drawn for FIS-sanctioned drug tests, which affect the top four athletes in every race as well as two randomly selected skiers.
“As morose as it sounds, I kind of expected to make a mistake today,” said Miller. “When I’m going 100 percent on a super G that I’ve never run before on a hill with a lot of blind turns, and a lot of terrain, I know myself better than to think I could ski this hill without making mistakes.”
It is Miller’s fourth world championship medal and his third gold. He won the giant slalom and combined at the last world championships, in 2003 at Saint Moritz, and was second in the super G there.
The reigning world champion in this event was Stephan Eberharter, who retired this fall, and so wasn’t competing to defend his title.
Before Eberharter, the world champion in super G was Daron Rahlves (his win in St. Anton in 2001 ushered in a new era of American speed dominance).
But today Rahlves never found his groove on the Stelvio track, where he once won a World Cup downhill. “I was really conservative with my tactics,” he said, obviously frustrated and still in pain from an injury he incurred January 11. “I just don’t know where I lost it. I kept losing time all the way down…Bode took the right amount of risk today, and it paid off.”
The two other Americans in the race, Scott Macartney and Dane Spencer, finished 28th and 33rd, respectively. Macartney carried the flag for the American team at the opening ceremonies the night before the event.
The women’s super G is scheduled for tomorrow at Santa Caterina, which is just a few miles up the road from Bormio.
World Alpine Championships
Men’s Super G
Jan. 29, 2005
1. Bode Miller, USA 1:27.55
2. Michael Walchhofer, AUT 1:27.69
3. Benjamin Raich, AUT 1:28.23
4. Hermann Maier, AUT 1:28.40
5. Marco Buechel, LIE 1:28.61
6. Florian Eckert, GER 1:28.69
7. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR 1:29.16
7. Didier Defago, SUI 1:29.16
9. David Poisson, FRA 1:29.24
10. Daron Rahlves, USA 1:29.25
11. Lasse Kjus, NOR 1:29.31
12. Ambrosi Hoffmann, SUI 1:29.48
13. Francois Bourque, CAN 1:29.57
14. Peter Fill, ITA 1:29.58
15. Bruno Kernen, SUI 1:29.60
16. Tobias Gruenenfelder, SUI 1:29.61
17. Andrej Jerman, SLO 1:29.64
18. Bjarne Solbakken, NOR 1:29.67
19. Erik Guay, CAN 1:29.74
20. Kurt Sulzenbacher, ITA 1:29.80
21. Stephan Goergl, AUT 1:29.81
22. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, NOR 1:29.96
23. Finlay Mickel, GBR 1:30.11
24. Ales Gorza, SLO 1:30.18
25. John Kucera, CAN 1:30.22
26. Ondrej Bank, CZE 1:30.28
26. Patrik Jaerbyn, SWE 1:30.28
28. Scott Macartney, USA 1:30.32
29. Andreas Ertl, GER 1:40.43
30. Luke Deane, AUS 1:30.45
other North Americans:
33. Dane Spencer, USA 1:30.70
DNF: Jeff Hume, CAN; Hubertus VonHogenlohe, MEX.
By Hank McKee
World Championship Men’s Super G, Bormio, Jan. 29, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Maier, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Buechel, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
6 Eckert, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
7 Svindal, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Poisson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
It is the opening race of the 2005 World Ski Alpine Championships. … It is the 19th World Championships determined in super G. … The winning margin a close .14, but just four skiers are within the same second.
It is the 12th alpine World Championship for an American. … And the third for Bode Miller. … He also won the ’03 combined and GS. … He has more gold medals at Worlds than any previous U.S. skier. … It is his seventh win of the season. … but first of the new year. … He and Daron Rahlves are the only Americans to ever win a World Championship SG. … He matches Tamara McKinney for most World Championship medals by a U.S. skier with 4. … Just seven U.S. skiers in history have more than a single World Championship medal.
It is the second World Championship medal for Michael Walchhofer. … He won the gold in the 2003 dh at St Moritz … It is his ninth podium of the season.
It is the second World Championship medal for Benjamin Raich. … He won silver medal in 2001 slalom at St Anton. … It is his ninth podium of the season. … And matches his best SG result of the season.
It is the third best career World Championship result for Daron Rahlves in nine races. … He also won the ’01 SG and was 5th in the ’01 DH.
It is the fourth career Worlds result for Erik Guay. … He placed better in three ’03 events. … It is the first World Championship appearance for John Kucera. … It is the first World Championship appearance for Scott Macartney.
It is a medal sweep for Atomic in the opening event.