Bode clinches overall, Vonn 3 points away
AP Sports Writer
BORMIO, Italy ” Bode Miller was assured of his second overall World Cup title in four years after his closest challenger decided not to ski one of the season’s final two races.
Didier Cuche was not going to compete in the season’s final slalom, Swiss team spokeswoman Kristina Schneider said Thursday. Cuche, a speed specialist who won the downhill season title over Miller earlier this week, doesn’t race the slalom.
Miller declined to speak to reporters at the finish line.
“I am not talking today,” he said.
His personal coach, John McBride, was glad the title came before the final race. Miller split from the U.S. team this season to train on his own.
“I am very happy I don’t have to drag this all the way to the slalom and chew my fingers off watching him try to bring home the bacon in the slalom,” McBride told The Associated Press. “I’m super relieved that he’s done it because I think he proved he was the best overall skier this year.”
Miller, who also won the overall in 2005, set up the United States to sweep the men’s and women’s overall World Cup titles for the first time in 25 years.
Lindsey Vonn, who was second in the super-G, has a 197-point lead over Maria Riesch of Germany and Americans will take both championships for the first time since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney won in 1983.
Hannes Reichelt of Austria won the final Super-G race of the season to clinch the World Cup title in the discipline by one point over Cuche, who won the downhill season crown.
Miller missed his last chance at the downhill title when bad weather prevented the season’s last race from being run Wednesday, allowing Cuche to keep his lead.
On Thursday, Reichelt won the Super-G by the slimmest margin, beating Didier Defago of Switzerland by 0.01 seconds, giving him 341 points in seven Super-G races this season. Cuche finished 16th, one spot out of the points.
Cuche said he tried to ski a safe run to finish in the points to secure the super-G title.
“I wanted to use tactics,” the 33-year-old said. “If I had only come in 15th, you could have said that I was clever. Now I’m the idiot.”
Miller had a safe run to clock 1:46.01, extending his lead with a 12th-place finish.
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