Michael Walchhofer led Austria to a 1-2 finish in a World Cup downhill yesterday while overall leader Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., was third on the Lauberhorn, the longest...
WENGEN, Switzerland — Michael Walchhofer led Austria to a 1-2 finish in a World Cup downhill yesterday while overall leader Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., was third on the Lauberhorn, the longest course on the circuit.
Walchhofer covered the demanding 2.8-mile run in 2 minutes, 27.05 seconds — 0.09 ahead of Christoph Gruber. It was the first downhill victory of the season for Walchhofer, the reigning world champion in the discipline.
“I have patience,” said Walchhofer, who had top-three finishes in six of seven downhills this season. “But I knew I was in great shape and it was only a question of time before I won a downhill.”
Miller was 0.18 seconds behind the winner and managed to take third despite skipping the morning inspection run, preventing an Austrian sweep of the top four spots. The result allowed him to pad his lead in the overall standings. Miller has 1,048 points after 21 of 38 events, followed by Benjamin Raich of Austria at 790 and Walchhofer at 641.
The wildly varying course pushes racers to speeds of up to 94 mph, then forces them in a corner to slam the brakes and slow to 44 mph. Skiers arrive at the final turn just before the finish — a spectacularly difficult set of sharp curves — having skied intensely for about 2-1/2 minutes.
“People talk about how you have no oxygen in your legs at the finish,” Miller said. “Forget that. You have no oxygen in your brain.”
Goetschl wins — again
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Renate Goetschl has established herself as the undisputed queen of Cortina with three victories in three races. But Lindsey Kildow of Vail, Colo., insists no one is unbeatable and said she is looking forward to another downhill race today.
Goetschl’s latest win came in yesterday’s World Cup downhill. Her time was 1:37.27. Janica Kostelic of Croatia was second and Kildow was third.
Libby Ludlow of Bellevue finished 44th.
• Olympic silver medalist Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, Colo., won the first World Cup moguls event of his career. Canadian Jennifer Heil, the defending World Cup champion, won the women’s event in Lake Placid, N.Y.
• Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic and Magdalena Iljans of Sweden won World Cup ski-cross races in Pozza di Fassa, Italy.
• Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, a four-time Olympic champion, won a World Cup biathlon event in Ruhpolding, Germany, beating Raphael Poiree of France in a 10-kilometer sprint.
Bjoerndalen finished in 23 minutes, 46.9 seconds for his 46th biathlon World Cup victory.
• Italy’s Fabio Carta won the 500-meter final at the European short-track speedskating championships in Turin, Italy.
Russia’s Tatiana Borodulina captured the women’s 500.
The three-day event at the renovated Palavela indoor rink inaugurated test events for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
• Joey Cheek of Greensboro, N.C., won the men’s 500-meter race in 34.81 seconds at a World Cup long-track speedskating competition in Calgary, Alberta. Tomomi Okazaki of Japan won the women’s 500 in 37.73.
• Germany’s Georg Hackl, 38, won his 33rd World Cup luge event to join Austrian Markus Prock atop the career list.
Hackl, who also won last year, finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 37.553 seconds for the two runs in Igls, Austria.
Woodinville resident Christian Niccum was disqualified.