Miller ties American mark
N.H. skier earns 27th Cup title
WENGEN, Switzerland - Bode Miller won a downhill race yesterday on the Lauberhorn to match the American record of 27 World Cup wins.
Miller, who won the same event last year, finished in 2 minutes 30.40 seconds.
"It was extremely fun. It didn't feel that good in terms of the quality of the skiing, but I was very aggressive," Miller said. "I kept really pushing forward the whole time. There was no braking."
Didier Cuche of Switzerland was second, .65 seconds back, and Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada was third.
Miller, who broke away from the US Ski Team to compete on his own, shares the record with Phil Mahre.
The historic downhill course on the Lauberhorn varies widely, featuring both the fastest and slowest stretches on the men's tour. The straight Hanegg section pushes racers to speeds up to 94 miles per hour and a passage over a bridge in a curve forces them to slow to 44 m.p.h.
At 2.8 miles, the Lauberhorn is also the longest course.
Miller trailed Osborne-Paradis at the first split, and failed to match Cuche's speed under the water station tunnel where skiers duck under the Jungfrau region's famed cog railway midway down the piste.
But the 30-year-old who grew up in Franconia, N.H., pulled away on the long, gliding sections in the second half of the course. After clearing the famous jump into the finish, he looked at his time and pumped his fist.
"I take a little bit more of a direct line," said Miller, a graduate of Maine's Carrabassett Valley Academy. "I just cut off a lot of distance, especially when the speeds are a little lower."