Raich wins world championship combined, but Miller pleases the crowd


Raich wins world championship combined, but Miller pleases the crowdBenjamin Raich of Austria has won the world championship combined, with the young Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal in second and local boy Giorgio Rocca in third. The defending champion in the event, Bode Miller, was only 15 seconds into the morning’s downhill when he threw a shoe: He finished most of the course anyway.

“I was going 70 or 75 already, so it was a matter of time before I was going to stop anyway,” said Miller. “I just made the next turn, and then I decided that maybe I’d try to make it down.”

Miller wanted to finish so he could race the afternoon and evening slalom runs. He wanted extra training for next week’s slalom.

“That’s not worth ending your season,” said Phil McNichol, the head coach of the U.S. Ski Team, who was unimpressed. McNichol says Miller risked injury and fatigue. “He wasn’t even at the first split, so I don’t care how big his cape is.”

Gunther Hujara, the referee for the race, had no problem with it. “He has bigger problems than me, because he might have a very sore leg,” said Hujara. “I let him go. It was so obvious. There was no sanction necessary in a case like that.”

“He put on a good show for the crowd,” said Svindal. “Most racers can ski on one ski, but not as easy as he can I guess.”

Ted Ligety, the 2004 Sprint/Ski Racing Junior of the Year, finished 12th, wearing the “Mom and Dad” sign on his helmet in the place where ski racers advertise their sponsors.

World Championships

Men’s Combined
Bormio, Italy
Feb. 3, 2005

1. Benjamin Raich, AUT 3:19.10
2. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR 3:20.01
3. Giorgio Rocca, ITA 3:20.08
4. Michael Walchhofer, AUT 3:20.55
5. Silvan Zurbriggen, SUI 3:20.98
6. Lasse Kjus, NOR 3:21.34
7. Daniel Albrecht, SUI 3:21.37
8. Pierrick Bourgeat, FRA 3:21.53
9. John Kucera, CAN 3:22.73
10. Francois Bourque, CAN 3:22.90
11. Mario Matt, AUT 3:23.15
12. Ted Ligety, USA 3:23.95
13. Bjarne Solbakken, NOR 3:24.47
14. Didier Defago, SUI 3:24.51
15. Andrej Jerman, SLO 3:24.80
16. Ondrej Bank, CZE 3:25.30
17. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, CAN 3:25.89
18. Bernard Vajdic, SLO 3:25.91
19. Borek Zakouril, CZE 3:26.88
20. Alex Antor, AND 3:26.98
21. Patrik Jaerbyn, SWE 3:28.32
22. Stefan Georgiev, BUL 3:28.59
23. Michal Kalwa, POL 3:30.97
24. Dmitrij Ulianov, RUS 3:30.92
25. Pavel Chestakov, RUS 3:31.93
26. Jaroslav Babusiak, SVK 3:33.34
27. Mihail Sediankov, BUL
28. Nikolay Skriabin, UKR 3:38.09
29. Florentin Nicolae, RUM 3:44.31
other North Americans:
DNF DH: Bode Miller, USA.
DNS SL: Erik Guay, CAN.
DSQ SL 2nd: Hubertus VonHohenloe, MEX

THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

equipment
Men’s Combined, Bormio, Feb. 3, 2005
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Svindal, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Rocca, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Zurbriggen, Fischer/Lange/Tyrolia
6 Kjus, Dynastar/Atomic/Look
7 Albrecht, Nordica/Nordica/Tyrolia
8 Bourgeat, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Kucera, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
10 Bourque, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

Men’s Combined 2005 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Feb. 3, 2005. … It is the third event of the World Championships. …The second men’s race. … The winning margin is less than a full second. (.91).

It is the third career World Championship medal for Benjamin Raich. … But his first world title. … He was also second in slalom at St Anton 2001, and third in the opening event here, SG, 1/29/05. … It is the third Austrian medal of the Championships, one of each color. … It is Raich’s second combined win of the season in two chances, having also won at Wengen. … He was 5th in DH and won the SL.

It is the first World Championship medal for Aksel Svindal. … It is the fifth combined championships for a Norwegian, three from Kjetil Andre Aamodt (’97-’99-’01), one from Lasse Kjus (’93) and one from Stein Eriksen (’54). … It is the best finish in international competition for Svindal, matching a combined result from Kitzbuehel 1/26/2003. … He was 9th in DH and 3rd in SL.

It is the second medal, and second bronze medal, career, for Giorgia Rocca. … He was third in slalom at St Moritz ’03. … Among Italians, just he, Karen Putzer, Kristian Ghedina and Gustvo Thoeni have won World Championship medals in combined. … It is Rocca’s fourth podium of the season, the others all in slalom. … He was 18th in DH and 2nd in SL.

It is the second career World Championship event for John Kucera. … He was also 25th in the SG 1/29. … The same is true for Francois Bourgeat, who was 13th in the SG. …It is the first World Championship event for Ted Ligety. … And for Manuel Osborne-Paradis. … It is the 28th career World Championship placing for Hubertus VonHohenlohe of Mexico.

Austria has three medals (1g, 1s, 1b), Italy two (1s, 1b), Norway one (s), Sweden 1 (g) and the U.S. two (1g,1b).

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