Bode wins downhill – Rahlves second, Friedman seventh
BEAVER CREEK ” Two for the money, three for the show.
That was the story for Friday’s Birds of Prey downhill.
Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves went 1-2, respectively, while American Bryon Friedman took seventh, the best finish of his career, as the U.S. Ski Team posted its best day on the Beaver Creek course.
Miller, who has completely erased the Birds of Prey nightmare he had last year, edged out teammate Rahlves by 0.16 seconds for the top spot on the podium. Miller finished with a time of 1 minute, 39.76 seconds; Rahlves came in at 1:39.92.
Austria’s Michael Walchhofer rounded out the podium in third (1:40.15).
For Miller, it was his second DH win in as many starts this year. He has three wins in the speed events this season and a second-place finish in Thursday’s Birds of Prey super-G. Given that it was perceived that Miller was stronger in the technical events ” the giant slalom is Saturday and the slalom on Sunday ” Friday’s win was an emphatic statement in the American’s quest to win the overall World Cup title.
Phil Mahre was the last American to do so in 1983.
After five races this season, Miller has 480 out of a possible 500 points, well ahead of Austria’s Walchhofer (195) and Hermann Maier (194).
Though Miller has grabbed the headlines this season, Rahlves is putting together a stellar season, as well. He followed up his downhill win last year at the Birds of Prey ” a transplanted race from Val D’Isere, France ” with a second this year. He also has fifth-place finishes to his credit in the DH and SG at Lake Louise, Alberta, last week. All told, Rahlves is fifth in the overall rankings with 184 points.
Friedman, who picked up his first World Cup points of his career at Beaver Creek last year, nailed the best run of his life Friday. His time of 1:40.75 is a breakout performance for the Park City, Utah, native.
Maier, who won the overall last season, finished 10th in 1:40.85.
Check back with http://www.vaildaily.com for extensive coverage of Friday’s World Cup action.
Chris Freud can be reached at email@example.com.