Walchhofer edges Maier, Miller in Germany DH
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Michael Walchhofer finally tamed a troublesome turn on the Kandahar course Friday to edge Hermann Maier and Bode Miller in a World Cup downhill event Friday.Walchhofer delivered a near-perfect run down the unusually soft course to prevail in 1 minute, 57.79 seconds. Maier finished 0.99 seconds back and Miller, the newly crowned downhill and super-G world champion, was third in 1:58.92.Austrian Johann Grugger finished fourth in 1:59.02, and American Daron Rahlves was fifth in 1:59.11.
Walchhofer had crashed four consecutive years on the tricky FIS-Schneise turn, then lost a healthy advantage last season when he slipped at the same spot and finished 16th.”It was becoming unbearable for me,” Walchhofer said.Miller led at the first two intervals but lost time and speed after going wide on a gate coming out of the same turn.
“We had already nicknamed it Walchhofer’s turn because he crashed or nearly crashed into the fence each time,” Miller said. “That’s where I messed up this time.”It’s the last turn of the course and, essentially, if you’re doing your very best you’ll be tired and barely pull off that last turn. I got a bit unlucky and messed up my execution.”Walchhofer’s victory further padded the Austrian’s lead in the World Cup downhill standings, where he has 531 points. Miller is second, 93 points behind. Only three downhill races remain this season.
“I am going to fight Bode for the downhill title,” Walchhofer said. “I remember seeing Stephan Eberharter ski for three years in a league almost of his own and winning the title three years in a row.”I would be very proud if could win the downhill globe and take over from Eberharter because it would mean I am in the same league.”Miller widened his lead in the overall standings over archrival Benjamin Raich, who finished 11th. Miller leads with 1,153 points, 131 more than Raich.
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