Miller clinches World Cup super G title |

Miller clinches World Cup super G title

Bradley S. Klapper
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
American Bode Miller took the trophy in the men's super G discipline at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Thursday. He tied for fourth in the last super G race of the season. (Armando Trovati/AP)

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland ” Bode Miller captured the super G season title with his performance Thursday, finishing tied for fourth behind winner Aksel Lund Svindal at the World Cup finals.

Miller’s finish give him 304 super G points for the season, well ahead of newly crowned downhill champion Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

“I’m proud. I’m more proud he didn’t let it slip away because he’s been so dominant all year,” U.S. men’s coach John McBride said. “Things have fallen off at the end of the year for one reason or another, but he proved for the majority of the season he’s a dominant super G skier.”

Svindal, chasing Benjamin Raich of Austria for the overall title, clocked a winning time of 1:17.94 on the 1.24-mile Silvano Beltrametti course. Svindal also won the season’s final downhill on Wednesday.

Raich, an all-around skier who prefers the technical races, finished a strong second in 1:18.07 to maintain a three-point overall lead over Svindal with two races remaining.

Raich, who for the second day in a row benefited from his early start number and the course’s tight gating which helps technical specialists, leads the overall with 1,155 points.

Miller won two of the five super G events this season, in Val Gardena, Italy, and Hinterstoder, Italy.

He also had downhill victories this year at Beaver Creek, Colo., and Wengen, Switzerland, but his difficulties in completing slaloms left him too far behind to challenge for the overall title.

Starting last, Miller came through only a tenth of a second behind Svindal at the middle interval and seemed to be picking up speed. But he slipped back in the final stretch to finish even with Marco Buechel at 1:18.33, 0.39 seconds back.

Miller won the super G title in 2005, when he also became the first American man in 22 years to claim the World Cup overall title. He was mathematically eliminated Wednesday from the race for the overall crown.

Erik Guay of Canada was third in 1:18.29.

Svindal has 1,152 points and Cuche remains in contention in third with 1,048, but will have difficulty gaining ground in this weekend’s final giant slalom and slalom races.

Miller ended the season 94 points ahead of Cuche for the smaller, super G globe. John Kucera of Canada, 15th on Thursday, finished third 110 points behind.

Fritz Strobl, the 2002 Olympic downhill champion, ended his career by skiing down the slope in a Mozart costume complete with wig. The Austrian finished last, nearly a minute off the pace, after slowing to receive congratulations from staff and coaches on the course.

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