ARE, Sweden Feb. 8, 2007 (USST Release)—Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) led the downhill but finished sixth overall with Steven Nyman (Provo, UT) in ninth as super combined debuted at the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland won the race, while Olympic combined champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), who was given a second start after two course workers got in his way during the final pitch of the slalom, skied out on his re-run.
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Albrecht, the surprise gold medalist, finished with a time of 2:28.99 for a downhill and one run of slalom. Benjamin Raich of Austria, the defending champion, was silver medalist (2:29.07) and Marc Berthod, another Swiss, was third.
Miller led the downhill at mid-day under a brilliant sun on the 2.8K (1.9-mile) Olympia speed run but lost speed at the bottom under the lights in the slalom to finish in 2:29.97. Nyman, top American Tuesday when he was 12th in the super G and fourth Thursday in the super combi's DH, was ninth overall in 2:30.18; T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT) finished 21st, moving up 19 places with the 14th-fastest slalom run.
Ligety was barreling down the last pitch in slalom when, about six gates from the finish, two course workers - one right in front of Ligety and the other just below him on the slope - couldn't get out of the way in time. He was forced to stop and, after shaking hands with the closest course worker when he came over to apologize for his foulup, was given a re-run, but skied off course just above the final pitch.
A healthy Nyman beginning to sparkle
Nyman, who spent parts of three years recovering from injuries after winning slalom gold and combined silver at the 2002 Junior World Championships, was amped with his result. A World Cup winner (DH - Val Gardena, Italy, in December) this season, he broke into laughter as he talked with reporters about falling in the finish area at the end of his run through the 56-gate SL course despite losing time on the flat section at the finish.
"I didn't embarrass myself at all," he said. "That was redemption - I just started my slalom a couple of days ago. I just put my mind to it and things are starting to come around, but I don't have the race mentality back yet. The inspection (skill), the comfort isn't really there, but I'm so stoked...
"And I almost made it to the bottom," he said with a big smile. "It's dead flat at the bottom. I lost a lot of time at the bottom, and then to see I was 1.1 out...[pagebreak]
"I'm stoked with what I got out of the downhill and really stoked with the way I'm skiing slalom now. I don't know - maybe I'll race slalom at the end" if the coaches need one more gate-runner.
In the late-day cold, the course stayed rock solid.
Coach: "You have to let it go...
"It was another tough day," Head Coach Phil McNichol said. "I was surprised Bode lost as much time. He didn't make any big mistakes but he was hanging on at the end, and you can't just hang on. You have to let it go at the bottom, and he didn't.
"Ted was just too far out in the downhill...and Nyman was impressive. I thought he had a really good downhill and was pretty solid in slalom until he lost time at the bottom," McNichol said. "And T.J. was firing in slalom. No complaints on his effort."
The men have another downhill training run Friday before running downhill Saturday. Miller is the defending DH champion and will be joined by Nyman, Scott Macartney (Redmond, WA) and Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA).
2007 FIS ALPINE WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
Are, SWE - Feb. 8, 2007
Men's Super Combined (DH/1-run SL)
1. Daniel Albrecht, Switzerland, (7/5) 2:28.99
2. Benjamin Raich, Austria, (14/1) 2::29.07
3. Marc Berthod, Switzerland, (10/4) 2:29.23
4. Didier Defago, Switzerland, (6/10) 2:29.50
5. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, (2/18) 2:29.59
6. Bode Miller, Bretton Woods, NH, (1/21) 2:29.97
9. Steven Nyman, Provo, UT, (4/19) 2:30.18
21. T.J. Lanning, Park City, UT, (40/14) 2:32.47
Ted Ligety, Park City, UT
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