|Bode Miller of the United States reacts at finish line after taking second place in an alpine ski, men's World Cup super-G in Val Gardena, Italy, Friday, Dec. 16 , 2011. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)|
Feuz edges Miller to win World Cup super-G
VAL GARDENA, Italy—Taking advantage of improved weather and visibility, Beat Feuz of Switzerland outskied Bode Miller to win a World Cup super-G on Friday.
Feuz won in 1 minute, 21.51 seconds on the twisty and terrain-filled Saslong course. Miller finished 0.30 seconds behind, and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was third.
Miller was an early starter with the No. 8 bib and put down a nearly flawless run in decent, although snowy, conditions. He watched as the top-ranked super-G racers -- starting with Nos. 16 and 22 -- were slowed by poor visibility.
However, just as the American was getting ready to celebrate, the snowfall and visibility lightened. Feuz led Miller at every checkpoint to clinch the second win of his career.
"The coaches told us on the radio that everything on the course was OK and you can attack it and that's what I did," Feuz said in comments translated from Swiss German. "I attacked from start to finish."
Feuz began celebrating before he came to a stop, pumping his poles up and down in the air. The 24-year-old recounted how as a child he marveled at the skiing of Miller.
"It's an incredible feeling not just because I won, but also to have Bode Miller behind me," said Feuz, who finished second in the opening two downhills this season and was third in a super-G two weeks ago in Beaver Creek, Colo.
Miller didn't look pleased after his run, shoving the poles into the ground.
"I knew I left something out there," Miller said. "It was looking good after the top guys. But Beat has been skiing great this year and he definitely did enough to win, although he definitely had a break with the light.
"He skis smart and with a lot of intensity and skiing with a lot of intensity on a day like today makes a big difference."
At 5-foot-8 and 187 pounds, Feuz resembles Swiss team leader Didier Cuche in stature.
The 37-year-old Cuche has won the World Cup downhill title three of the past four years, and Swiss coaches have commented that if it were not for his success, smaller racers like Feuz may have not been given a chance to race on the World Cup circuit.
For Jansrud, the Olympic silver medalist in giant slalom, it marked his first podium in a speed event. Now he's aiming to become an all-around skier in the Norwegian tradition of Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Lasse Kjus and Aksel Lund Svindal.
"Now I can finally call myself an all-arounder," Jansrud said.
Svindal finished fourth to keep the overall World Cup lead, although Feuz now trails the Norwegian by only 24 points. Ted Ligety of the United States, who sat out the race, dropped to third, 75 points behind. Miller is fourth overall.
Svindal also held onto his lead in the super-G standings, 59 points ahead of Feuz.
Olympic Super-G bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, N.Y., finished 20th. Wiley Maple of Aspen, Colo., scored the first World Cup points of his career in 29th.
"I'm really excited for Wiley Maple," said U.S. coach Sasha Rearick. "He got the call last night that he was going to get a start here because of the way he's been training and he made it count.
"This hasn't necessarily been a good hill in the past for Weibrecht, but today he showed some aggressive skiing and I'm proud of his performance."
The traditional downhill is scheduled for the Saslong on Saturday, then the circuit moves across the Gardena pass to nearby Alta Badia for giant slalom and slalom races Sunday and Monday.