Bode Miller was more than two seconds faster than all but one skier in a downhill training run Thursday, one day before World Cup races begin in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Miller completed the modified course in 2 minutes, 2.93 seconds. Norwegian Askel Lund Svindal, the clear Olympic favorite, was a distant .96 behind. Third place Hannes Reichelt was 2.35 seconds back.
“I’ve been focusing on this race all year,” Miller said on the classic Hahnenkamm downhill that he has never won, according to The Associated Press. “I know it’s hard to win here. I’ve put a lot of energy in being ready here … And I think I had fast skis today, too. Obviously on this track you can’t do much if your skis are not running.”
A slalom will be contested Friday (on a different course), followed by a downhill Saturday and a combined race Sunday where the super-G also counts as a separate World Cup race.
Miller, 36, is gearing up for his fifth Olympics. He won a medal of every color in 2010, giving him five in his career, but missed all of last season following knee surgery.
His best finish this season was second in a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 8. But his best Olympic medal prospects are in speed races. He’s finished fifth in two of the last three World Cup downhills.
In December, Miller took second in a training run in Bormio, Italy, and then finished 35th in the World Cup downhill race two days later.