Bode Miller third in Hahnenkamm downhill; Austrian wins

Bode Miller
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Bode Miller‘s bid to win his first downhill race at skiing’s most revered venue came up short, while an Austrian captured the famed Hahnenkamm event for the first time in eight years on Saturday.

Hannes Reichelt delighted a crowd that normally reaches 50,000 by winning the World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Miller, the fastest by nearly one second in training Thursday, took third, .34 behind the Austrian and .13 behind Aksel Lund Svindal.

“Winning training runs doesn’t do it for you,” Miller said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “You’ve got to execute on race day. It’s too many times that I’ve made these stupid mistakes that aren’t really forced. They are not forced errors. It’s not on a tough part of the course, it’s just a real basic part. So, it’s pretty heartbreaking.”

American Travis Ganong matched the best World Cup result of his career, seventh, on a modified course.

Miller, who had won combineds in Kitzbuehel in 2004 and 2008, posted his best World Cup downhill finish since Feb. 3, 2012 and his second podium this season. He took second in a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 8.

It’s another promising result for Miller, 36, who missed all of last season following knee surgery. He is slated to compete in his fifth Olympics and looking to win his sixth Olympic medal.

His best chances in Sochi will likely come in the speed events of downhill and super-G, events he won bronze and silver in at the 2010 Olympics.

His biggest threats appear to be Reichelt and Svindal.

Reichelt became the first Austrian to win the Hahnenkamm downhill since Michael Walchhofer in 2006. He ranks second in the World Cup downhill standings to Svindal, who extended his World Cup overall lead Saturday.

“This is like dream,” Reichelt said, according to The Associated Press. “Being an Austrian, coming down this course and winning here in front of all these fans, is a huge present. This is a real highlight of my career. If you win here, you are a legend.”

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a super combined on Sunday, where the super-G will count as a separate race. Also Sunday, the U.S. Olympic Team is scheduled to be named.

Kitzbuehel Downhill
1. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) 2:03.38
2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 2:03.59
3. Bode Miller (USA) 2:03.72
4. Adrien Theaux (FRA) 2:04.04
5. Christof Innherhofer (ITA) 2:04.15
6. Carlo Janka (SUI) 2:04.23
7. Travis Ganong (USA) 2:04.41
7. Max Franz (AUT) 2:04.41
9. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 2:04.46
10. Didier Defago (SUI) 2:04.52
19. Marco Sullivan (USA) 2:05.22
27. Steven Nyman (USA) 2:05.93
32. Jared Goldberg (USA) 2:06.07
36. Erik Fisher (USA) 2:06.44
43. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 2:07.43

Tina Maze back on top of podium in Cortina

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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