BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (AP) – Bode Miller blew his downhill lead by skiing off course in the slalom, allowing Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway to win a men’s World Cup super-combi.

Miller led after the downhill leg, but swerved off course in the slalom after a gate smacked his inside boot, causing him to knock his skis together.

“He pushes the line and it works sometimes and when it does he destroys everyone. When it doesn’t…” said teammate Steve Nyman, explaining why Miller would be so aggressive despite enjoying such a large margin ahead of his run. “He’s won enough. I think he wants to destroy. Why not?”

Nyman was 13th, 2.21 off the pace.

Svindal was only 20th after the morning’s downhill leg, but a blistering slalom run in the afternoon gave him a winning-combined time of 2 minute, 6.74 seconds.

It marked Svindal’s first World Cup win in the discipline, though he is famous for his versatility in both speed and technical events.

The 23-year-old, one of the few men on World Cup to compete in all five events, could have challenged Austrian Benjamin Raich for the World Cup overall title last season if he hadn’t cracked his ribs in a downhill training crash at Val Gardena before Christmas.

As for Miller, though he rarely crashes out these days, he is famous for failing to finish the technical events. Last season, he finished just two of eight slaloms.

Though it came as a disappointment, Miller’s performance still marked a return to form and speed.

At the season-opening slalom in Levi, Finland, earlier this month, Miller failed to qualify for the second run. And at the speed races in Lake Louise, Canada last week, he finished 14th in a super-G and 29th in a downhill.

Switzerland’s Marc Berthod collected his first World Cup podium result, crossing second in 2:06.93.

Olympic bronze medallist Rainer Schoenfelder placed third in 2:07.11.

Olympic champion Ted Ligety, who is now seeking to pad out his World Cup resume, was 10th in 2:08.54. Ligety had been sitting 17th with 1.82 to make up after the downhill leg.

The technical specialist, who has just one World Cup win – a giant slalom in South Korea last season – is still recovering from a broken hand.

Austria’s Goetschl fastest in downhill training

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Austria’s Renate Goetschl had the fastest time in Thursday’s downhill training session for this weekend’s season-opening World Cup women’s skiing events.

Goetschl completed the 2.9-kilometer course in 1 minute, 49.92 seconds.

Italy’s Nadia Fanchini was second in 1:50.51, followed by Switzerland’s Nadia Styger in 1:50.85.

“I know I had some mistakes in the middle part,” said Goetschl.

“I think it was OK. I know what I have to do for the next two days.”

Downhills are scheduled today and Saturday, and a super-giant slalom is set for Sunday.


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