Olympic Skiing icon Bode Miller earned a second place finish today in the Val Gardena Super G in Italy. This victory marks the 73rd Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium of his career, and was the third podium experience at Val Gardena resort since winning in 2006 and taking 2nd place in 2007. Combined with the points he has already accumulated so far this season including his first place win two weeks ago at the Audi BIrds of Prey downhill — Miller now sits in fourth place overall in the world cup standings. He is one spot behind fellow US teammate Ted Ligety who did not race today.
After the race, Bode talked about today’s course conditions and how they affected his race, “There’s a wind that can go straight up the hill sometimes and I don’t know if that’s what got me. You saw Ganong get pounded by wind up there. At the top I didn’t have any errors, but at the bottom, I made some mistakes on the last 10 gates that cost me some.”
It was a hard fought race, and the inclement weather did nothing to ease the difficulties of the day. The course was actually shortened to accomodate the violent winds. He ran a stellar race, but due to a few minimal errors Bode was beaten out by the young up-and-comer Beat Feuz from Switzerland. Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud came in third.
Prior to the race, the men’s speed head coach Forest Carey described the weather conditions, “It’s windy up there, so their dropping the start 100 meters to just above tree line. It’s shorter, but no less demanding – probably more so now that the guys will really have to push the line to find speed.”
Fellow American Wiley Maple was a surprise addition to today’s starting lineup, and scored the first World Cup points of his career with a 29th place finish.
Sasha Rearick, Head Coach of the US Ski Team had this to say about Maple’s performance today, “I’m really excited for Wiley Maple. He got the call last night that he was going to get a start here because of the way he’s been training and he made it count. He scored his first World Cup points and he did it with aggressive skiing through the Ciaslot.”
Next up on the circuit is the famous Saslong Classic downhill which is slated for Saturday in Val Gardena, giving the team yet another opportunity to rack up points in the 2011/2012 World Cup.
Never one to let a little bad weather get him down, Bode is already excited and looking forward to the weekend’s events, “The super G here isn’t usually a good indicator for the downhill. There’s a lot of variables here – start position, weather – everything makes a difference. I think we have the skis that can do it and I have the line that know I need to ski. This is one of my favorite areas in Europe to ski.”