Austrian Maier wins super G in Canada | AspenTimes.com

Austrian Maier wins super G in Canada

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

Austria's Hermann Maier, right, celebrates his win as silver medalist John Kucera, left, of Canada, stands nearby on the podium on following the men's Super-G World Cup Alpine ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta ” Hermann Maier of Austria won a super G on Sunday for his 54th career World Cup win.

Maier, who last won a World Cup race in January 2006 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, won in 1 minute, 29.84 seconds.

“To win here is a great feeling,” said Maier, whose training was hampered since September because of a disc problem in his lower back. “Today I risked. You can’t win a race without risk.”

John Kucera of Canada was second in 1:30.43, and Didier Cuche of Switzerland was third in 1:30.52.

Defending overall champion Bode Miller, who finished 16th in Saturday’s downhill, lost a ski before the halfway mark and did not finish. Miller skied past the finish area without talking to reporters.

Kucera tried not to be in awe of Maier on the podium.

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“It’s weird when you look over and your childhood hero is standing next to you,” said Kucera, who won the super G here in 2006. “Next time I hope to beat him.”

Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland finished eighth in the super G but leads the overall standings with 156 points. Cuche is second with 140 points, and Jean-Baptiste Grange of France is third with 122, one more than Miller.

Maier won the last of his four overall titles in 2004, and the 35-year-old Austrian has overcome some spectacular crashes in his amazing career to race at the top level.

He followed up a terrifying crash at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where won two gold medals, by dominating the next four World Cup seasons. But he missed the 2002 Salt Lake City Games while recovering from a motorcycle accident that nearly cost him a leg.

Maier returned to the circuit and won a super G and a downhill just before the Turin Games, where he then won a silver medal in the super G and bronze in the giant slalom.

His only two podium finishes since the last Olympics came in the super G ” a third-place finish in December 2006 and a second-place finish in January 2008.

On Saturday, Maier was 17th in the downhill.

In the super G standings, Maier leads with 100 points after the first race of the season in that discipline.

Peter Fill of Italy, who won Saturday’s downhill, finished 18th.

The next men’s World Cup races ” a combined, downhill, super G and giant slalom ” will be in Beaver Creek, Colo.

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