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Bode Miller wins downhill for first World Cup win since breaking away from U.S. team

Bode Miller wins downhill for first World Cup win since breaking away from U.S. team

Bode Miller won the grueling Stelvio downhill Saturday for his first World Cup victory since breaking away from the U.S. Ski Team.
While the other favorites had trouble, Miller put down a near-perfect run and covered the 3.270-kilometer (2.03-mile) course in 2 minutes, 0.57 seconds.
"It's a miracle really," Miller said. "If you want to make it down you've got to take it easy on some of the curves. I just tried to hold on at the end. I was out of gas."
Andreas Buder of Austria was second, 0.45 seconds behind, and Jan Hudec of Canada was third, 0.54 back.
After clashing with the U.S. federation over team rules, Miller decided to train and race on his own this season. Complying with International Ski Federation rules, he still wears a U.S. uniform when he skis. He put his own jacket on with his personal sponsors for the podium celebration.
The victory was the 26th of Miller's career, putting him within one win of matching Phil Mahre's U.S.-record of 27 victories.
Didier Cuche finished fourth and pre-race favorite Michael Walchhofer got thrown off course midway through his run and nearly crashed into the fence. He finished in a tie for 19th.
Marco Buechel, another contender, also lost control and did not finish.
The Stelvio trails only Wengen, Switzerland, for the longest course on the World Cup circuit.
Unlike Wengen, though, the Stelvio bumps and jerks skiers from start to finish. The undersides of athlete's skis remain completely attached to the snow for only 12 seconds of the average 120-second run. The rest of the time, skiers are on their edges changing direction and executing turns and jumps.
Miller's last victory came in Wengen nearly a year ago.
"I tend to do better on the really tough courses. I focus more," Miller said.
Miller won both the downhill and super-G here at the 2005 World Championships.
"I've always liked this course," he said. "It really challenges me."
Bormio is also the site of this season's World Cup finals in March, meaning Miller will have another opportunity to win here.
"I hope so," he said. "But I don't know if I can do that again."


Updated : 2021-05-07 09:55 GMT+08:00