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.
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