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Stephan Goergl of Austria wins Birds of Prey super G; Miller second

Stephan Goergl of Austria wins Birds of Prey super G; Miller secondStephan Goergl of Austria won his first World Cup today, the super G at Beaver Creek, snapping a winning streak by Bode Miller and Atomic. “I think it’s too early to realize all of what happened today,” said Goergl, who comes from a family with a strong ski racing heritage.

Miller finished second, after miscalculating a turn near the Pumphouse section of the Birds of Prey hill. He and other athletes said that the section was full of “death cookies,” an aberration from the otherwise chalky and smooth Beaver Creek piste. “If this was a training run and I could go up there again I could cut off a second and a half or two seconds,” said Miller. “But it’s super G, and you don’t get to do that.”

All week, the international media has been seizing on the story of equipment. With Miller winning the first three races of the season, including two speed races at Lake Louise (where fast gear is especially crucial), the conspiracy theorists have asked whether Atomic has been giving Miller preferential treatment because he seems most likely to win the overall World Cup.

That plot appeals because Atomic is an Austrian company, and their support of Americans would appear disloyal to nationalistic Austrian fans.

Ironically, it is another Austrian company that has now knocked Miller off the top step of the podium, and put an Austrian man there for the first time this season. The 26-year-old Goergl defected from Atomic to Fischer in the spring, along with his mentor Hans Knauss, the 33-year-old who grew fed up with Atomic last spring. As Atomic was courting new high-profile athletes, some of the less successful Atomic athletes started to feel underappreciated.

“It was a tough time in the spring,” said Goergl after his win. “Because Bode went to Atomic, and Atomic said we can’t give to everybody.”

So Knauss and Goergl, along with their slalom-skiing countryman Mario Matt, moved to the yellow-and-black Fischer brand, whose race program is directed by former World Cup slalom ace Sigi Voglreiter.

“Last year we were not so strong in the speed disciplines,” said Voglreiter, triumphant in the Beaver Creek finish area. “We built a totally new ski, and this is the first season for our new binding, so it is much easier to build a whole set-up that works.”

Goergl and Knauss share a serviceman: Franz Knauss, the latter’s older brother. Goergl and Knauss are also roommates, and Goergl’s light-hearted nickname for his mentor is “Papa.”

Wo ist mei bua,” asked Knauss in the finish, looking for his friend, and using Styrian dialect to ask, “Where is my boy?”

Knauss was eager to congratulate his protege.

World Cup

Men’s Super G
Beaver Creek, Colo.,
Dec. 2, 2004

1. Stephan Goergl, AUT 1:13.40
2. Bode Miller, USA 1:13.64
3. Mario Scheiber, AUT 1:13.72
4. Tobias Gruenenfelder, SUI 1:13.77
5. Alessandro Fattori, ITA 1:13.90
6. Fritz Strobl, AUT 1:13.93
7. Marco Buechel, LIE 1:14.13
8. Hermann Maier, AUT 1:14.14
9. Patrik Jaerbyn, SWE 1:14.17
10. Benjamin Raich, AUT 1:14.36
11. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR 1:14.37
12. Konrad Hari, SUI 1:14.43
13. Hans Knauss, AUT 1:14.45
14. Lasse Kjus, NOR 1:14.47
15. Ambrosi Hoffmann, SUI 1:14.48
16. Erik Guay, CAN 1:14.49
17. Daron Rahlves, USA 1:14.56
18. Bruno Kernen, SUI 1:14.73
19. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, NOR 1:14.76
20. Matthias Lanzinger, AUT 1:14.86
20. Didier Cuche, SUI 1:14.86
22. Bjarne Solbakken, NOR 1:14.88
22. Didier Defago, SUI 1:14.88
24. Antoine Deneriaz, FRA 1:14.95
25. Johann Grugger, AUT 1:14.97
26. Jan Hudec, CAN 1:15.13
27. Florian Eckert, GER 1:15.14
28. Andreas Schifferer, AUT 1:15.29
29. Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin, FRA 1:15.41
30. Paul Accola, SUI 1:15.46
other North Americans:
32. Dane Spencer, USA 1:15.61
33. Scott Macartney, USA 1:15.64
35. Francois Bourque, CAN 1:15.92
39. Jakub Fiala, USA 1:16.08
48. Erik Schlopy, USA 1:17.30
49. Jeff Hume, CAN 1:17.88
DNF: Wade Bishop, Bryon Friedman, USA.

THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

equipment
Men’s SG, Beaver Creek, Dec. 2, 2004
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Goergl, Fischer/Lange/Fischer
2 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Scheiber, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
4 Gruenenfelder, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Fattori, Fischer/Lange/Tyrolia
6 Strobl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Buechel, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
8 Maier, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
9 Jaerbyn, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Men’s super G at Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 2, 2004… is the fourth race of a 35 race men’s World Cup schedule (plus two combineds). … It is the second of seven men’s super G’s. … and the first of four consecutive races scheduled at Beaver Creek. …

A small margin of victory as the top 12 racers finish within the same second. … It is the first win, and first World Cup podium for Stephan Goergl. … He scored his first Cup points 1/28/01 in SG at Garmisch. … Goergl is just the second Austrian male to win a World Cup SG at Beaver Creek, with Hermann Maier winning in ’97 and ’99. … Goergl finished last season 20th in World Cup super G standings. … He was 28th (Solden gs) and 17th (Lake Louise SG) in his other two results so far this season.

It is the 29th career World Cup podium for Bode Miller, and his first loss of the season in four outings. … It is his second Cup SG podium ever, and second in five days.

It is the first career World Cup podium for Mario Scheiber and just his third scoring finish… all coming this season. … From St Jakob, Scheiber was fifth in the Europa Cup last season. … He holds three World Junior Championship medals and was the Austrian national SG champion in 2003.

It was the 13th scoring result for Erik Guay and his third this season. … He has been in the top 16 five times, two of them this season. … It was the 52nd time Daron Rahlves has scored World Cup SG points. … It is his third finish of the season, the other two both fifth place results at Lake Louise (DH & SG). … It is the fourth career scoring result for Jan Hudec, and second of the season. … Both Dane Spencer and Scott Macartney just missed scoring points, finishing 32nd and 33rd respectively, .15 and .18 of a second out of Paul Accola’s time in 30th. … It is the 17th season in which Paul Accola has scored World Cup points. … He missed the 2003 season to injury.

Miller leads the overall standings 380-168 for Hermann Maier (8th in race). … Daron Rahlves dips to sixth with 104. … Miller leads the super G standings 180-114 for Goergl with Maier third at 112 and Scheiber fourth at 96. … Austria leads the Nations Cup 1427 – 780 for USA. … The Swiss are third at 512.

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