Sun, Dec 05, 2004 - Page 24 News List

American Bode Miller scorches slopes

WORLD CUP SKIING Miller finished in 1 minute, 39.76 seconds for the 16th win of his career and his fourth victory this season


Bode Miller of the US brushes past a gate on his way to winning adownhill event at Beaver Creek, Colorado on Friday. It was his fourth World Cup win this season.


Bode Miller won his fourth World Cup ski race this season and Daron Rahlves was second Friday -- the first 1-2 finish for the US in the downhill.

"It's about time," Rahlves said. "It's what we wanted -- both of us on the podium."

Miller and Rahlves came into the season saying each wanted to win the overall World Cup title. Miller, the World Cup leader, has won four of the five races so far and was second Thursday in the super-G won by Stephan Goergl of Austria.

"It's far too early to think about the overall," said Miller, who is trying to become the first American man since Phil Mahre in 1983 to win the overall title.

Miller finished in 1 minute, 39.76 seconds for the 16th win of his career. Rahlves was second in 1:39.92 and Michael Walchhofer of Austria was third in 1:40.15.

"I was flying," Miller said. "I was rolling ... I was doing things with instinct and reaction. A phenomenal feeling."

When Rahlves came through the finish of the steep run, Miller and Bryon Friedman, who was seventh, stormed into the sunbathed finish area. All three hugged, waving a big American flag for the wildly cheering crowd.

Rahlves, who was 17th in Thursday's super-G, was happy with second.

"I wanted to be on the top step, but this is good," said Rahlves, who then noted American Lindsey Kildow's first women's World Cup victory in Friday's downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta. "People have to pay attention."

It was the first time two Americans have won World Cup downhills on the same day since Picabo Street and Kyle Rasmussen won on March 11, 1995 -- Street in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, en route to the first of two World Cup downhill titles, and Rasmussen in Kvitfjell, Norway.

The last time US men went 1-2 in any World Cup-style race was 1984, when Phil Mahre won the Olympic slalom in Sarajevo with twin brother Steve taking the silver medal.

Defending World Cup champion Hermann Maier of Austria, who missed the 2002 Olympics after a motorcycle crash in which he broke his right leg, finished eighth.

Alpine team director Hans Pum said Maier had injured his right knee and was being examined by team doctors. It was not immediately known if Maier would race in Saturday's giant slalom.

After tomorrow's slalom, the tour returns to Europe for the rest of the season.

Lindsey Kildow of the US won her first World Cup race Friday, taking the season-opening downhill in 1 minute, 23.44 seconds.

Kildow, who just turned 20, battled wind and swirling snow on a shortened men's Olympic downhill course.

"It's so awesome," said Kildow, whose previous best results were a third and fifth last year in downhills at Cortina, Italy.

"I just tried to stay as relaxed as possible. The main thing for me is not to be nervous because I have the skiing ability."

Carole Montillet-Carles of France was second in 1:23.63, followed by Hilde Gerg of Germany in 1:23.69.

"I was a little bit stressed after the training because I didn't feel so well," Montillet-Carles said. "I was searching for the good line. Today I wanted to be aggressive. I did not make the perfect run but I was very happy."

American Libby Ludlow was taken off the hill by helicopter after a fall and sent to the hospital with a suspected fractured leg.

High winds and snow forced the start of the race to be lowered to the men's super-G start.

German veteran Uschi Disl won the women's 10km pursuit yesterday for her second straight World Cup biathlon victory at the start of the season.

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