HINTERSTODER, Austria (AP) – Aksel Lund Svindal is back on top of the overall World Cup standings.

A day after losing his lead to Bode Miller, the 23-year-old Norwegian recovered it by winning Thursday’s giant slalom despite poor visibility and snow.

Svindal raced down the Wertung course in a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.63 seconds.

Francois Bourque of Canada, fifth after the opening run, moved into second place in 2:25.89 with a strong second trip through the thick fog blanketing the mountain. Kalle Palander of Finland finished third in 2:26.03.

Miller, third after the opening leg, lost time the entire way down and dropped to fourth in 2:26.16.

“I felt good and I could have made up the four-tenths (behind Svindal from the first run), but it was so bumpy and I couldn’t see a thing in the fog,” Miller said.

Norwegian commentators had criticized Svindal on Wednesday, when he finished 11th in a super-giant slalom and lost the overall lead to Miller. The American won Wednesday’s race.

“I never had a crisis but some people in Norway thought I had a crisis. So if they’re having a crisis when they’re sitting in their office with the heating and watching on television, then be my guest,” Svindal said.

“Not a typical race, but a good race for me,” Svindal added. “I couldn’t see a thing but I knew I had to attack otherwise I would fall behind. Let’s hope the season continues that way.”

Svindal became only the second man this season to post more than one win, having also won a super-combi at Beaver Creek, Colo., in November. Miller has three victories this season.

The only other American to qualify for the second run was Ted Ligety, who finished 10th. The first run was delayed 30 minutes because of the fog, which caused 18 skiers to not finish their run.

“You couldn’t see anything. You could see two gates and that was it,” said Mike Morin, the men’s slalom and giant slalom head coach for the U.S. Ski Team. “This was racing by Braille.”

The men are off until a pair of downhills Dec. 28-29 at Bormio, Italy, including a makeup for a race lost earlier this month in Val d’Isere, France. After 14 races, three U.S. men are in the top 10 overall – Miller is second, Ligety is sixth and downhiller Steven Nyman is 10th.

AP-ES-12-21-06 1828EST


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