Aksel Lund Svindal wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won his second straight World Cup race, taking a downhill in Beaver Creek, Colo., while no Americans finished in the top 10 on Friday.

Svindal, the reigning world and World Cup downhill champion, clocked 1 minute, 44.50 seconds, in sub-zero temperatures in the first of three races this weekend. Austria’s Hannes Reichelt was second in 1:44.67, and Italian Peter Fill was third (full results at bottom).

“I knew I had to be aggressive,” Svindal said, according to the Denver Post. “I felt like it was a pretty good run when I came down, but I wasn’t sure at all. It was nice to see the green lights.”

The Beaver Creek World Cup stop continues with a super-G on Saturday (1 p.m. ET) and a giant slalom on Sunday (11:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m.). NBC and NBCSN will provide weekend coverage.

Svindal solidified his Olympic favorite status after finishing a surprisingly low fourth in the first World Cup season downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday. He came back to win the super-G on Sunday and leads the World Cup overall standings.

Five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was the top American in 13th, his best finish in four races this season.

“I thought I skied pretty well,” Miller said, according to the newspaper. “Even though it was not a great result, I’m happy with it. I skied the way I needed to ski. Maybe we picked the wrong skis, maybe it was weather or nature, but I think that’s where we lost it today.”

Miller, 36, missed all of last season following knee surgery. His previous finishes this year were 19th, 16th and 23rd.

In 2009-10, Miller’s first four World Cup finishes were DNF, 29th, 39th and DNF, but he started rattling off top 10s beginning with a fourth in the Beaver Creek downhill. Miller went on to win an Olympic gold, silver and bronze in 2010.

Ted Ligety, who won three World Championships gold medals in February, finished 42nd. The downhill is Ligety’s worst event, and he said before the season he doesn’t expect to race it at the Olympics.

Beaver Creek Downhill
1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1:44.50
2. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) 1:44.67
3. Peter Fill (ITA) 1:44.70
4. Manny Osborne-Paradis (CAN) 1:44.74
5. Patrick Kueng (SUI) 1:45.02
6. Beat Feuz (SUI) 1:45.16
7. Jan Hudec (CAN) 1:45.17
8. Werner Heel (ITA) 1:45.35
9. Dominik Paris (ITA) 1:45.37
10. Max Franz (AUT) 1:45.38
13. Bode Miller (USA) 1:45.54
15. Travis Ganong (USA) 1:45.69
21. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:46.26
28. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:46.71
29. Erik Fisher (USA) 1:46.72
42. Ted Ligety (USA) 1:47.72
55. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:48.72
DNF. Andrew Weibrecht (USA)

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