I agree, Beaver Creek should be enlightening.
I don't buy that Bode Miller's too old for his own technique. He's never been one of the strongest physical specimens on the WC (by his self report.) He did win the NBC athlete challenge against the athletes from all other disciplines a few years ago, but did it in typical Bode fashion, by coming up with a completely different and faster way to climb over the vertical obstacle.
Bode's key skiing strengths (IMHO) are (1) better balance; (2) a tighter line; and (3) a technique that demands the first and facilitates the second. I haven't heard that balance takes a huge hit from aging in a year. From all the discussions about how slalom is a young skier's game now, I would think that his 15-point slalom finish this year (better than ANY of his slalom results last year) would suggest just the opposite about Bode being too old:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/613.ht...20&rec_start=0
He's skiing while recovering from a hurt back, and there were a lot of other really strong DH skiers who were a second out in the DH, where headwind changes can make a huge difference. Note that Walchhofer, Maier, Nyman, Cuche, Svindal, Guay, and Miller were all within a quarter of a second of each other, less than a second back from the leader, who skied at a very different time, judging from bib number.http://www.skiracing.com/index.php?o...784&Ite mid=2
No one is suggesting yet that all those other guys are washed up. Heck, I've heard that Svindal guy actually skis OK at times, even if once he did use a pivot entry to a turn and on another occasion used the tails of his skis...
So I'm with SkiRacer55--it'll be informative to see how it shakes out at Beaver Creek, where Bode has done well in the past.