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Bode Miller clinches World Cup super-G title

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I like Fritz Strobl's style, ("rock me Amadeus", read to the bottom...)


Kaj


By Associated Press
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - Updated: 10:50 AM EST

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland - 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.
post #2 of 14
Strobl's final run is something to behold - YouTube has the video.

YouTube's video isn't the best quality, as it's handheld video cam capture of the FIS common feed. Sport1.at likely has it too (for free, registration required), and WCSN.com has the whole race (for a fee, but great quality).
post #3 of 14
That run was awesome! He looked like he was having a total blast.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
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.
Bode's "slip back" was a hip-check in a rather nasty compression about 2/3 way down the course. Said turn threw off a lot of racers. Had Bode taken a slightly more conservative line through the turn, he probably would've been top three.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post
Bode's "slip back" was a hip-check in a rather nasty compression about 2/3 way down the course. Said turn threw off a lot of racers. Had Bode taken a slightly more conservative line through the turn, he probably would've been top three.
He did make the podium today in the GS placing third. Hard to believe that a season like he had is a disappointment. For any other American racer outside of Phil Mahre in his prime it would have been Epic.

Quote:
Italy's Blardone was second, 0.21 seconds back, with American Bode Miller showing flashes of his enigmatic best to take an impressive third place.
- Fossil
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Fossil View Post
He did make the podium today in the GS placing third. Hard to believe that a season like he had is a disappointment. For any other American racer outside of Phil Mahre in his prime it would have been Epic.
Agreed - the media has totally torn into Bode because they've built such an artificial expectation that he will win everything because he's capable of winning every time he skis a DH, SG or GS. The problem is that 99 percent of the U.S. media doesn't know squat about ski racing, doesn't take the time to learn about it, etc.

But back to Bode's GS result today: he had a superb second run that vaulted him up to third. His first run was really ragged for the first third of the run: off-balance, line suffered, Bode didn't seem to find the sweet spot on the ski. For the rest of the first run, Bode seemed to "get" the skis he was on (yet another pair he's trying this year), and skied well. The second run was classic Bode: all-out, some insane "WTF?" turns, etc.

So while Bode's season wasn't as great as it could have been, it was by no means a failure. Hell - even last season wasn't bad, looking at the history of U.S. skiers on the World Cup. That Bode won the SG globe is a great feat, as it's a race that's typically dominated by the Austrians.

Next season, the one-two punch of Bode and Shred will be something to watch. They'll have a lot of good competition: an Austrian team that'll be out for blood after this "disastrous" season; a newly pumped Norwegian team backing Svindal; the Swedes and their technical prowess; and the resurgent Swiss in DH and SG.

2007-2008 will be a helluva season!
post #7 of 14
Congrats to Bode Miller.
post #8 of 14
So he's not retiring then?
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
So he's not retiring then?
Well, I'm not gonna put those words into his mouth. But I can't imagine that he would retire, given that he's finally dialing in the Heads for GS and SL.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Bode Say It Ain't So, Just Go Go Go

I hope he keeps skiing. I think he's the kind of guy who has something to prove, especially after all the media criticism. To come back and wipe the slate at his age would be a real statement. Of course given the fact that I am a libertine libertarian, I support rebels and eccentrics everywhere as a matter of principle.

On top of that, I just love to watch him ski. Every run he is on the edge, you don't know if he is going to finish two seconds faster than the rest of the field or ski out. But it's always exciting to watch, and you can't say that about the Austrians or the Swiss.
post #11 of 14
Strobl---------------------Epic ending
post #12 of 14
Thanks for the spoiler in the Title. Saved me the time of actually enjoying the race.:
post #13 of 14
tief -

Yeah, the "spoiler" tag should've been in there. Even though there are quite a few Bears who ponied up the WCSN fees to see the races (or had the Eurosport live text feed going at o'dark-thirty), the spoiler tag would've been nice.

But hey - the amount of compliance with the "spoiler" rule has been much better this year than last, wouldn't you say?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry. I actually found Strobl's run more newsworthy, but then I guess we all expect a lot from Bode.

Spoiler Kaj
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