Albrecht wins combined; Miller sixth |

Albrecht wins combined; Miller sixth

Andrew Dampf
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland slaloms past a pole on his way to winning the men's combined at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Are, Sweden on Thursday. (Charles Krupa/AP)

ARE, Sweden ” Switzerland’s Daniel Albrecht won the combined at the world championships Thursday, with Bode Miller finishing sixth after leading the downhill portion of the event.

Albrecht was seventh after the downhill but delivered a perfect slalom run for a combined time of 2 minutes, 28.99 seconds. Defending champion Benjamin Raich of Austria was second, 0.08 seconds behind, and Marc Berthod of Switzerland took third, 0.24 back.

Didier Defago finished fourth to give Switzerland three of the first four places. At the last worlds in Bormio, Italy, no Swiss man or woman won a medal. The Swiss now have three medals after three races. Bruno Kernen won the super G bronze.

Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was fifth. Miller was next, 0.98 seconds behind the leader.

Miller had more than a second lead on Albrecht before his slalom run. The American lost more than half his lead at the split point and couldn’t ski anywhere near as fast as Albrecht on the bottom portion.

Olympic champion Ted Ligety’s slalom run was interrupted when course workers got in his way. The American came to a stop and it was unclear if he would get another run.

Like Patrick Staudacher, the Italian who won Tuesday’s super G, Albrecht had never finished among the top three on the World Cup circuit. His best results were two fourth-place finishes ” in the slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., in December and the combined in Wengen, Switzerland, two years ago.

“I can’t believe it. It’s going to take some time to believe it,” Albrecht said. “I never thought I could catch Miller and Svindal. I had a very good downhill. I was surprised how close I was to the top downhillers. I’ve been training a lot with Berthod and now we’re both on the podium. It’s great.”

He was the 2003 world junior champion in combined, though, and finished fourth in the discipline at the Turin Olympics last year. At the last worlds, he finished seventh in the combined.

The combined was run in the super-combi format for the first time at a major championship. It consisted of a downhill leg and a single slalom run, as opposed to a downhill leg and two slalom runs under the old format.

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