Miller, Rahlves go 1-2
ARE, Sweden – Bode Miller won a race, just a little late.Miller and Daron Rahlves led a 1-2 American finish in the World Cup super-G finale Thursday after both failed to medal at the Torino Olympics last month.Miller covered the Olympia course in 1 minute, 27.78 seconds for his first super-G win of the season and second podium finish at the World Cup finals. He was second in Wednesday’s downhill.”I was as physically and mentally fit as I could be at the Olympics,” Miller said. “Maybe I was over-amped in the sense I would get so fired up I would detonate.”Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway clinched the super-G title with a third-place showing.Janica Kostelic of Croatia captured the women’s World Cup overall title with a fourth-place finish in a super-G won by Nicole Hosp of Austria in 1:19.45. American Julia Mancuso, the Olympic giant slalom champion, finished fifth ahead of teammate Lindsey Kildow.Anja Paerson, the two-time defending overall champion, skied out after the third gate.
“I did not expect to win the globe today,” said Kostelic, who won the overall in 2001 and 2003. “I didn’t think she would ski out. She was skiing good and on her home terrain.”Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, who had already locked up the super-G title, was second and Martina Ertl-Renz of Germany finished third.Rahlves, who is retiring after this season, was .34 seconds behind Miller.”The super-G is the toughest event because there’s only one inspection and the speeds are high,” Rahlves said. “It’s pretty special to be on the podium with Bode and finish the season strong.”It marked the third time Miller and Rahlves finished 1-2 this season. They also doubled in the downhill and giant slalom events in December at Beaver Creek, Colo.Austrian Hermann Maier needed to finish ahead of Svindal to clinch his sixth super-G title, but was .62 seconds off the pace. Svindal won with 284 points, two more than Maier. Rahlves was third with 269 points.Austrian Benjamin Raich, who already clinched the World Cup overall title, was one of five skiers who didn’t finish Thursday. American Ted Ligety, who won gold in the Olympic combined event, also skied out.
Miller’s two podium finishes moved him into third place behind Svindal in the overall standings. Miller is expected to race Friday in the giant slalom and Saturday in the slalom.The Americans were inspired to compete well Thursday for two coaches who are retiring.John McBride, the U.S. men’s speed coach for the past four seasons, and Pete Bosinger, an assistant coach since 2003, said Wednesday night they would leave the team after this season.”So that makes this even more special,” Rahlves said. “(They) have worked so hard for us, sacrificed so much, so it’s nice to give them this double podium as a retirement present.”Kostelic clinches overallARE, Sweden – Janica Kostelic of Croatia clinched the women’s World Cup overall title Thursday with a fourth-place finish in a super-G won by Nicole Hosp of Austria.
Kostelic capitalized on Anja Paerson’s misfortunes on a hill the Swede has mastered so many times, seldom missing the podium. Julia Mancuso, the Olympic giant slalom champion, placed fifth followed by fellow American Lindsey Kildow.Paerson, the two-time defending overall champion, lasted only a few seconds on the hill. She skied out after the third gate on the new 1,903-meter WM Strecke course that will be used for next year’s World Championships.By placing fourth, Kostelic moved to 1,770 points, 204 ahead of Paerson, in the overall standings. Only two races remain at the World Cup Finals – a slalom and a giant slalom. A win is worth 100 points.Hosp clocked 1 minute, 19.45 seconds in Thursday’s race, held in perfect racing conditions under sunny skies.Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, who had already clinched the super-G title, was second, 0.27 seconds back. Germany’s Martina Ertl-Renz was third, 0.43 behind the winner.”It was pretty sad that it ended so early,” Paerson said. “I feel kind of empty. You have to go all out if you’re going to win. It was pretty tough in that steep part.”Paerson, the Olympic slalom champion, can still win the giant slalom title on Saturday.Dorfmeister, skiing the last speed event of her career, topped the final super-G standings with 626 points. Teammate Alexandra Meissnitzer was runnerup with 437 and Nadia Styger of Switzerland was third with 360.Vail, Colorado
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