March 4, 2005
KVITFJELL, Norway--The weather is cold and expected to stay that way as Bode Miller, the World Cup points leader since the first race of the season, and his only challenger, Austrian Benjamin Raich, face two speed events this weekend on the 1994 Olympic course north of Lillehammer.
Six races remain in the season and Miller, bidding to become the first American man to win the overall World Cup title since 1983, holds a 31-point lead on Raich. To vote on whom you think will win the world Cup overall crown, click on http://shootout.usskiteam.com/
The schedule calls for a downhill Saturday (5:30 a.m. ET) and super G Sunday (4:45 a.m. ET). To follow the races live through timing intervals, go to http://livetiming.usskiteam.com/
Miller won the gold medal in DH and super G a month ago at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Bormio, Italy. Raich won the slalom and combined titles.
"It's been cold, brutally cold," U.S. Head Coach Phil McNichol said Thursday night, "and there may be some stuff (Friday), but we should be okay again Saturday for the racing. The snow's fine."
Miller became the first skier, male or female, to win the first three World Cup races in any season when he won a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, and then conquered a downhill and super G within 24 hours over Thanksgiving Weekend. They were his first speed victories and marked his emergence as a speed threat, too. In a 17-day period, Miller became only the second man to win in all four disciplines (slalom, GS, super G and DH) in one season) as he duplicated Marc Girardelli's feat during the 1989 season.
The season concludes March 9-13 with slalom, GS, SG and DH in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.