American Bode Miller captured his third downhill victory at Beaver Creek on Friday, posting the 33rd World Cup win of his career and first on the circuit in nearly two years.
Miller, who turns 34 on Saturday, edged Switzerland’s Beat Feuz by finishing in a time of 1 minute, 43.82 seconds.
“The stuff I pulled off today, it doesn’t work all the time,” Miller said. “Three out of 10 times, you try that and it works. The other six you end up in the fence. The other in the hospital.”
Feuz finished second in 1 minute, 43.86 seconds, while Austria’s Klaus Kroell was third with a time of 1 minute, 43.96 seconds on the difficult 2,729m Birds of Prey course.
Feuz also finished second in the season-opening downhill last week in Lake Louise, Canada. His runner-up spot Friday vaults him into first place in the overall standings in the discipline just ahead of Swiss teammate Didier Cuche. Feuz has 160 points, while Cuche is tied for second with Miller at 129.
Kroell, who placed fifth in the Lake Louise downhill, reached the podium for the first time at Beaver Creek. His best previous finish in Beaver Creek was a fourth in the downhill three years ago.
Fance’s Johan Clarey was fourth in 1 minute,44.60 seconds.
Former two-time World Cup overall champ Aksel Lund Svindal, who won the first super-G of the new season in Lake Louise, finished fifth in 1 minute, 44.78 seconds.
Miller also won in Beaver Creek in 2004 and 2006. Starting from the 12th spot on Friday he reached the finish line and celebrated by pumping his fist several times.
“Coming across the line every time I’ve won here, I’ve come across just totally fired up and excited and happy to still be alive at the finish,” Miller said. “When I’m really trying to win here, the risk you take is serious risk.”
Pre-race favorite Cuche made some costly errors and finished ninth. Cuche won the season-opening downhill last weekend in the Canadian Rockies.