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Miller, Cook, Mancuso: Speeding To Sochi Again Saturday

Bode Miller at Beaver CreekThe alpine speed race to Sochi continued Saturday with more drama building for Americans. Bode Miller finished third in the fabled Hahnenkamm World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, while U.S. ladies Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso packed in their third Top Ten finishes in a row in another downhill at Cortina, Italy.

Miller now has his third podium in the Kitz downhill, having finished second twice before. He had won the only training run Friday. Warm temperatures forced an alteration to the traditional final pitch of the course, meaning racers went around the Hausberg jump and side hill traverse into the finish.

Austrian Hannes Reichelt was the winner. Miller finished behind Norwegian star Aksel Lund Svindal.

“I skied well at the top,” Miller said. “I carried really good speed down Alte Schneise. Off Seidlalm jump, I got really good air and I knew I was going and then I just got a little high-sided. I was almost in my luck and the ski came underneath me and got rotated and on a long turn there’s nowhere to go… The mistake was just too big of a mistake.”

Miller’s teammate Travis Ganong matched his career best finish in seventh. A super combined (downhill and two slalom runs) concludes the Hahnenkamm weekend Sunday.

Cortina action saw the U.S. ladies repeat Top Ten finishes for three consecutive races in a long weekend of scheduled and make-up races. Cook tied for fifth and Mancuso was seventh. Cook had finished fifth in Friday’s downhill.

Tina Maze of Slovenia, last year’s World Cup champion, picked up her first win of the season. The race was very tight as the top 15 racers were separated by less than a second. Leanne Smith was 26th and Jacqueline, Wise 29th.

“It always stings when you’re that close to the podium,” Cook said. “But, I know this is a positive move heading toward Sochi.”

Racing in Cortina continues Sunday with a super G. Both men’s and women’s Olympic speed teams will be announced following Sunday’s races.

Photo: Bode Miller in Birds of Prey Downhill at Beaver Creek (Eric Schramm/USST)
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