Aksel Lund Svindal crashes hard, tears ACL (video)

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Aksel Lund Svindal is done for the season after tearing his right ACL in a crash in the most famous annual race, a downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Saturday.

Svindal, who won a medal of every color at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, was one of three men to crash hard in the delayed, shortened race that was called off after 30 skiers due to safety concerns.

The Norwegian’s absence the rest of the season opens the door for Austrian Marcel Hirscher to retake the World Cup overall lead and be favored to win his fifth straight World Cup overall crown.

That would tie retired Luxembourg star Marc Girardelli for the most career men’s World Cup overall titles.

Svindal, 33, missed most of the 2014-15 season after tearing an Achilles playing soccer in October 2014. He won seven of the first nine World Cup speed races this season.

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Bode Miller will not race Kitzbuehel downhill, hopeful for World Champs

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Bode Miller said he will not race the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Saturday, a famed race he has never won.

“It’s too much risk,” Miller told media after forerunning in the super-G in Kitzbuehel on Friday, a race won by Italian Dominik Paris. “I need to be smart and make the right decisions now. … It’s a tough decision, but it’s the right one.”

Miller, 37 and a six-time Olympic medalist, had back surgery 8 1/2 weeks ago and hasn’t raced this season.

“It’s just not enough time to run this with confidence,” Miller said. “I need to race this thing 100 percent if I go, and I’m just not there yet.”

Miller took two training runs in Kitzbuehel, including finishing sixth Thursday.

“That puts stress on my back, but that’s what I’m trying to do is put some stress on it that it adapts, but not too much stress that it gets hurt,” Miller said. “It’s been a fine line that I’ve been walking for a while.”

Miller has called Kitzbuehel “the pinnacle.” Miller has won two races in Kitzbuehel, but both were combined events rather than downhills. In the Hahnenkamm downhill, he owns two seconds and a third over his decorated career that began before GPS navigations were available for driving through Europe.

“I’ve never won the downhill here, and it is one of those things that I do feel is missing from my career and my downhill record book,” he told an Austrian media outlet in 2012.

Now Miller looks ahead to the World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., from Feb. 2-15.

“It looks better now than I thought it was going to,” Miller said. “Yesterday and today, there’s parts where I’m going full race intensity. … I think I’m right there. Another week and I should be good.”

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NBCSN to air coverage of Kitzbuehel’s famed Hahnenkamm downhill

Kitzbuehel Hahnenkamm
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NBCSN will air coverage of the most famous men’s race in Alpine skiing for the first time, the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Saturday.

Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com will provide live coverage of the World Cup event at 5:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN’s same-day coverage will air from 10:30 to noon ET Saturday, with Steve Porino and Todd Brooker on the call.

Bode Miller, a six-time Olympic medalist, hopes to make his season debut in Kitzbuehel following back surgery in November. He has never won the Hahnenkamm, the biggest hole on a career record unmatched among U.S. skiers.

“For any racer, Kitzbuehel is pretty much the pinnacle. It’s the top of downhill,” he told an Austrian media outlet in 2012. “I’ve never won the downhill here, and it is one of those things that I do feel is missing from my career and my downhill record book.”

On Sunday, NBCSN will air same-day coverage of the Kitzbuehel slalom at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Also, NBCSN will carry same-day coverage of the final men’s World Cup race before the World Championships, a night slalom in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. ET.

NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra and Universal Sports will air unprecedented coverage of the World Championships from Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., from Feb. 2-15.

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