Miller Captures Season Title in Super-G
Thursday, March 15th 2007, 8:14 am
News On 6
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (AP) _ Aksel Lund Svindal won the super-G at the World Cup finals Thursday, while Bode Miller captured the season title in the discipline.
Miller finished tied for fourth to give him 304 super-G points for the season, well ahead of newly crowned downhill champion Didier Cuche of Switzerland.
``You win the super-G title with two victories and a fourth place and you only have 300 points,'' Miller said. ``That's not normal to win a title with that few points.''
U.S. Men's coach John McBride was a little more enthusiastic.
``I'm proud. I'm more proud he didn't let it slip away because he's been so dominant all year,'' McBride said.'' Things have fallen off at the end of the year for one reason or another, but he proved for the majority of the season he's a dominant super-G skier.''
Svindal, chasing Benjamin Raich of Austria for the overall title, clocked a winning time of 1:17.94 on the 1.24-mile Silvano Beltrametti course. Svindal also won the season's final downhill on Wednesday.
Raich, an all-around skier who prefers the technical races, finished a strong second in 1:18.07 to maintain a three-point lead over Svindal with two races remaining.
``It's going to be hard to beat Benni now, but I can't be disappointed with my victory just because Benni was second,'' the 24-year-old Svindal said.
Raich, who for the second day in a row benefited from his early start number and the course's tight gating which helps technical specialists, leads the overall with 1,155 points.
Miller won two of the five super-G events this season, in Val Gardena, Italy, and Hinterstoder, Italy in December.
He also had downhill victories this year at Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Wengen, Switzerland, but his difficulties in completing slaloms left him too far behind to challenge for the overall title.
Starting last, Miller came through only a tenth of a second behind Svindal at the middle interval and seemed to be picking up speed. But he slipped back in the final stretch to finish even with Marco Buechel at 1:18.33, 0.39 seconds back.
Miller won the super-G title in 2005, when he also became the first American man in 22 years to claim the World Cup overall title. He was mathematically eliminated Wednesday from the race for the overall crown.
Erik Guay of Canada was third in 1:18.29.
Svindal has 1,152 points, while Cuche remains in contention in third with 1,048, but will have difficulty gaining ground in this weekend's final giant slalom and slalom races.
Miller ended the season 94 points ahead of Cuche for the smaller, super-G globe. John Kucera of Canada, 15th on Thursday, finished third 110 points behind.
Fritz Strobl, the 2002 Olympic downhill champion, ended his career by skiing down the slope in a Mozart costume complete with wig. The Austrian finished last, nearly a minute off the pace, after slowing to receive congratulations from staff and coaches on the course.