GREATEST DAY IN AMERICAN DOWNHILL HISTORY


GREATEST DAY IN AMERICAN DOWNHILL HISTORYBode Miller and Daron Rahlves took the top two places in the Birds of Prey downhill today, while Lindsey Kildow won the women’s World Cup downhill in Lake Louise. With a handful of other Americans cracking the top 20 at both venues, it is the greatest single speed performance in the history of the U.S. Ski Team.

“To have a day like this, and really draw some attention to us is awesome,” said Miller, who hasn’t finished worse than second this year. “I won’t forget this race.”

Up in Lake Louise, Kildow had heard about the men’s results before she even left the start-gate. “Someone was watching it online,” said Kildow in a post-race telephone call. “They said it went Bode, Daron and then Friedman in seventh.” Kildow said she tried to not let it affect her composure.

“Like a full knockout,” said Rahlves, recounting how it felt to cross the finish and see that he and Miller had gone first and second. Miller ran into the finish corral to congratulate his teammate. “I don’t even know what he said,” recalled Rahlves. “We were just yelling back and forth. I ran over and grabbed that flag, and Bode came running out…I don’t really know what he said there. The crowd was so loud.”

Rahlves ran 31st — the last of the top-ranked downhillers — and even before he’d slowed down, he looked to the stands to guage his performance. “I cross the line, I keep my eyes up, I’m looking, I see everyone jump up, and I think, ‘I’ve seen that before,’ hopefully that means it was good, it’s not just being nice guys. Next thing, my eyes are going straight to the scoreboard. It’s intense. We’ve been trying to do this for such a long time.”

Although the Phil and Steve Mahre went “one-two” in World Cup tech races, and although an American man and woman had won speed races on the same day (Picabo Street and Kyle Rasmussen on March 11, 1995), there has never been a day like this before for the Americans.

John McBride, the head coach of the U.S. men’s team, watched Miller and Rahlves douse the crowd with champagne. “Watching ‘D’ perform the way we know he can perform, and watching Bode continue rolling on his streak, and most important for me was watching Freedog step into the mix. That made my day. And I know it made everyone else’s day.”

Bryon Friedman (“Freedog” to his teammates) ran fifth, and nailed the bottom section of the course. When he crossed the finish line he was in first, and he held on to the position until the 17th position, when Miller knocked him out of it. Friedman ended up in seventh, despite skiing with serious shin injuries incurred the week before in a training run crash.

World Cup

Men’s Downhill
Beaver Creek, Colo.,
Dec. 3, 2004

1. Bode Miller, USA 1:39.76
2. Daron Rahlves, USA 1:39.92
3. Michael Walchhofer, AUT 1:40.15
4. Bruno Kernen, SUI 1:40.50
5. Didier Cuche, SUI 1:40.59
6. Hans Knauss, AUT 1:40.74
7. Bryon Friedman, USA 1:40.75
8. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR 1:40.81
9. Fritz Strobl, AUT 1:40.84
10. Hermann Maier, AUT 1:40.85
11. Kurt Sulzenbacher, ITA 1:40.88
12. Marco Buechel, LIE 1:40.94
13. Johann Grugger, AUT 1:40.97
14. Kristian Ghedina, ITA 1:41.04
15. Antoine Deneriaz, FRA 1:41.07
15. Bjarne Solbakken, NOR 1:41.07
15. Peter Fill, ITA 1:41.07
18. Christoph Gruber, AUT 1:41.09
19. Paul Accola, SUI 1:41.11
20. Didier Defago, SUI 1:41.12
21. Yannick Bertrand, FRA 1:41.27
22. Juerg Gruenenfelder, SUI 1:41.41
23. Alessandro Fattori, ITA 1:41.42
24. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, NOR 1:41.51
25. Klaus Kroell, AUT 1:41.57
26. Mario Scheiber, AUT 1:41.62
26. Andreas Schifferer, AUT 1:41.62
28. Benjamin Raich, AUT 1:41.64
29. Patrik Jaerbyn, SWE 1:41.70
30. Daniel Zueger, SUI 1:41.73
other North Americans:
36. Erik Guay, CAN 1:42.39
38. Jan Hudec, CAN 1:42.49
38. Scott Macartney, USA 1:42.49
51. Jakub Fiala, USA 1:43.23
52. Justin Johnson, USA 1:43.32
53. Jeff Hume, CAN 1:43.37
54. Jeffrey Harrison, USA 1:44.13

THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

equipment
Men’s Downhill, Beaver Creek, Dec. 3, 2004

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Walchhofer, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
4 Kernen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Cuche, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
6 Knauss, Fischer/Lange/Fischer
7 Friedman, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
8 Svindal, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Strobl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Maier, Atomic/Lange/Atomic

Men’s Downhill, Beaver Creek, Colo., 12/3/2004 – It is the fifth race of a 35 race men’s World Cup schedule (plus two combineds). … It is the second of an 11 race men’s downhill schedule. …

It is the 16th career World Cup win for Bode Miller. … His fourth of the season in five races. … It is his fifth podium of the season. … It is his second career DH win, the previous coming last week at Lake Louise. … It is the 146th U.S. win and fourth of the season, all from Miller. He is two wins shy of matching Tamara McKinney for second most Cup wins by a U.S. skier. … Vail/Beaver Creek is now tied with Waterville Valley, NH as the World Cup site hosting the most U.S. World Cup wins (7).

It is the 18th career World Cup podium finish for Daron Rahlves. …His 16th in DH. … It is his first podium of the season. … The last one-two U.S. finish was also a DH when Picabo Street and Hilary Lindh went one-two at Lake Louise 12/9/94. … The U.S. women have also accomlished the feat at Vail with Tamara McKinney and Cindy Nelson finishing one-two respectively 3/12/83 (there are other 1-2 finishes at other sites). The last time U.S. men went one-two was Steve and Phil Mahre respectively in GS at Bad Kleinkirchheim 3/17/82. … U.S. men had never been one-two in a DH before.

It is the 18th World Cup podium for Michael Walchhofer. … his 12th in DH. … his third consecuive third place finish this season. … (The other two both at Lake Louise, he was a DNF in the Beaver Creek SG 12/2).

For Bryon Freidman, seventh established a career best result. … He had been in the top 10 once before, finishing 10th at Chamonix DH 1/10/2004.

It was a tough day for the French as the team claimed all three DNF’s. … A good day for the Swiss with Bruno Kernen fourth and Didier Cuche fifth, registering two of the top three Swiss results of the season.

Miller holds a commanding lead in the World Cup standings 480-195 over Walchhofer. … Rahlves moves back up to fifth at 184pts. … Miller leads the DH standings 200-125 over Rahlves. … The Austrian men maintain first in the Nations Cup 1234-723 over the U.S.

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