U.S. Ski Team’s Bode Miller fifth at Val Gardena Super G

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 18, 2009 8:54 am

The U.S. Ski Team’s Bode Miller skied to fifth place today at the Audi FIS World Cup super G in Val Gardena, Italy. Norwegian superstar Aksel Lund Svindal took the win–the 13th of his career, and his first in Val Gardena. Swiss phenom Carlo Janka finished second, nabbing the tenth podium of his young–albeit volcanic career. (Janka has won five World Cups so far.) Italian Patrick Staudacher took the bronze.

Miller had an early start, which depending on changing weather conditions, can either be an advantage or disadvantage. For the Carrabassett Valley Academy graduate, it was the latter. ”It was a start position race. Early start numbers were bad because the light was bad. Then the light gets better as the race goes on,” Miller said. “Unfortunately I started pretty early, which was tough. I skied well, but I had a couple mistakes.”

U.S. Men’s Alpine Head Coach Sasha Rearick felt Miller’s skiing was as it should have been. ”He gave a good effort and attacked and skied aggressively,” Rearick said.

Miller wasn’t the only American athlete in the top 15. Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht finished 15th, nabbing his fourth top 15 placing of the season. ”Andrew did a good job,” said Rearick. “With the super G here, the snow is aggressive. Andrew executed a good plan and he skied well from top to bottom.”

Fellow U.S. Ski Team athletes Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID) finished 21st and 27th respectively.

The men take to the downhill tomorrow for the Saslong Classic. Typically, the Americans have found success on the hill, but according to Miller, it doesn’t come easily.

“It’s a little bit of a tough race because it’s really flat and easy. There are no parts in the whole thing that are technical,” Miller said. “You just have to be real aerodynamic and hope your skis are fast. It’s hard to go fast on those [type of courses] because you don’t have a gas pedal that you can just push on. Everyone is doing the same stuff, just some guys are faster.”

Of course, as with the super combined, the light will play a factor, as well. ”The start position, again, makes a huge difference. If you start early, you don’t have a good chance of winning, but it’s still fun,” Miller said.

Check back at www.theskichannel.com, as we will post the start order as soon as it is made available.

photo: US Ski Team