Since his falling out with the US Ski Team, Bode Miller is all about carving up the slopes, not carving turkey with his fellow American skiers on Thanksgiving.
Miller, who won the World Cup overall title last season, wrote in his Internet blog that he planned to celebrate Thursday’s US holiday quietly.
“I’m not doing anything special for Thanksgiving since I won’t be home,” Miller said of one of the biggest holidays on the US calendar. “They do a group dinner here. I might go to it but the food isn’t that great. When you’re not at home it doesn’t really matter.”
Starting from the eighth spot Thursday, Miller registered the fastest downhill training time for the second day in a row.
The runner-up in World Cup downhill standings last year, clocked a time of one minute, 45.37 seconds in much cooler conditions than those during Wednesday’s training run.
He could have had a faster time but stood up before hitting the finish line of the 3,025m Canadian course. Miller declined to speak on Thursday, walking briskly by reporters who had assembled in the finish area.
Miller decided recently to ski as an independent after disagreeing over rules with US Ski Team officials. He travels in a motorhome, hires his own coaches and trains by himself, but his World Cup points go toward the US team standings. The men were set to return to the slopes yesterday for a final training before this weekend’s season opening speed events.
Austrian Klaus Kroell was just two-hundredths of a second behind Miller while last year’s World Cup overall downhill champion Didier Cuche of Switzerland was third in 1:45.45.
“It is always special the first time skiing downhill after a long summer without skiing,” Cuche said.
Kroell, wearing bib No. 10, is looking for his first downhill victory on the World Cup circuit.
The cold didn’t slow down Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway who is coming back from a terrible crash in Beaver Creek last year. Svindal, the 2006-2007 overall champion, finished in fifth with a time of 1:45.92.
“It is nice to be back skiing downhill,” Svindal said. “The training runs are a good way to ease yourself into it.”
It was a strong day for the Swiss as they placed four skiers in the top 11. Cornel Zueger came from the back of the pack to finish 10th in 1:46.48.
The men will race in a downhill today and a super-G tomorrow.
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