Austrian tops podium; Bode falls | AspenTimes.com

Austrian tops podium; Bode falls

Andrew Dampf
The Associated Press

Austria's Michael Walchhofer speeds down the course on his way to winning an alpine ski World Cup men's downhill, in Bormio, Italy, Thursday, Dec. 28. (Alessandro Trovati/AP)

Aspen, CO Colorado

BORMIO, Italy ” Michael Walchhofer ended a 13-race winless streak by the Austrian men’s team Thursday, winning a World Cup downhill by 0.01 seconds.

Walchhofer skied the 1.8-mile Stelvio course in 1 minute, 51.90 seconds for his first podium finish of the season.

Bode Miller, who won the downhill and super-G on the same course at the 2005 World Championships, failed to finish a downhill for the first time this season after skiing off course near the top of the run. The American appeared to lose his edge as he negotiated a turn, fell down and got right back up. He was not injured.

“He just had a little mistake and went out. He’s ready for tomorrow,” said U.S. team’s downhill coach Chris Brigham.

Didier Cuche of Switzerland was second, while Walchhofer’s teammate, Mario Scheiber, was third, 0.14 back.

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Cuche retained his lead atop the downhill standings with 285 points, followed by Marco Buechel with 212 and Walchhofer with 186.

Buechel finished sixth.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway placed 14th and retained his lead atop the overall standings with 539 points. Cuche moved into a tie for second with Miller, with 490 points each.

Thursday’s race was moved from Val d’Isere earlier this month due to a lack of snow in the French resort. Another downhill is scheduled for the Stelvio course on Friday.