HINTERSTODER, Austria (AP) – Bode Miller took over first place in the overall World Cup standings for the first time in a year after winning a super-G on Wednesday.

Miller raced down the foggy 1-mile Wertung course in 1 minute, 9.76 seconds for his third World Cup victory this season and 24th of his career.

The 29-year-old American, who switched to Head skis from Atomic in the offseason, is the only skier this season with more than one World Cup victory.

“Things are starting to come together for me,” Miller said. “My skis are working great. I’m a good skier.

“I’ve proved it in the past. But a good skier still requires good skis. In super-G and downhill, there’s no question, my skis are great.”

The American took the overall lead from Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who finished 11th Wednesday.

Miller leads the overall standings after 13 races with 440 points. Svindal dropped to second with 421 points, and Didier Cuche of Switzerland is third with 392.

Miller, the overall champion two seasons ago, last led the standings on Dec. 21, 2005. Last season, he finished third overall after only two World Cup victories, and left the Turin Olympics without a medal.

Miller, who won the super-G Saturday in Val Gardena, Italy, and finished 14th in Lake Louise, Canada, also took over the lead in the discipline standings. John Kucera of Canada, the previous leader, finished 23rd.

Skiers from nine different nations have posted wins in the 13 races so far this season.

Miller finished 0.79 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Peter Fill of Italy, who equaled his best career World Cup result. He was second in a super-G at Kitzbuehel last season.

“Bode was faster and stronger in the flat sections. He’s looking very strong right now,” said Fill, who has four top-four results this season. “It would be difficult to beat him today. This season he is remarkable.”

Hermann Maier placed third on home snow in 1:10.70 – his first podium result this season. But he angrily smashed his poles on the snow in the finish area.

“I was a bit upset because I didn’t have a good feeling in my run,” said Maier, who hurt his shoulder in a fall during course inspection.

“So third place is a big present for me. I wasn’t expecting this.”

The Austrian men, who have only one World Cup victory this season, extended their winless streak to 12 races.

Skiing’s “Wunderteam” is in one of its worst slumps in recent history. On Monday at Alta Badia, Italy, the team failed to score a single point in a slalom for the first time since 1986.

U.S. skiers – men and women – have collected nine podium results in the last six days, including wins from Miller, Steven Nyman, Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Kildow.

Miller wants to peak later in the season and do well at the world championships in February in Are, Sweden.

“It’s still a wait-and-see kind of game, but I feel like it’s working,” Miller said. “I made a plan I feel confident and comfortable with, and that’s what we’re running with so far.”

Nyman went down on his hip near the finish in the super-G and nearly crashed but made a stunning recovery.

However, the mistake cost him and he also finished out of the top 20.

In the super-G standings, Miller leads with 218 points after three races. Kucera, who won the season’s first super-G in Lake Louise and was third in Val Gardena, is second with 162 points, and Fill is third with 140.

AP-ES-12-20-06 1131EST


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