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Miller Takes Fourth in Val Gardena SG

VAL GARDENA, Italy Dec. 17, 2004 (AP)--Bode Miller finished fourth in a World Cup super giant slalom Friday in which Michael Walchhofer led a 1-2-3 Austrian sweep.

Miller has won six of 11 races this season and still holds a commanding lead in the overall standings.

Walchhofer captured a World Cup super-G for the first time, covering the 1.5-mile course in 1 minute, 31.17 seconds. Defending overall champion Hermann Maier was second, 0.12 seconds behind, and Benjamin Raich finished third, 0.47 seconds back. Miller was 0.86 seconds off Walchhofer's pace.

This was the first speed event this season in which Maier has finished ahead of Miller, shaving 30 points off the American's overall lead. Miller is in front 780-419.

Two-time defending champion Antoine Deneriaz of France finished 15th.

Walchhofer was second in the downhill on this course in each of the past three seasons. This was the third World Cup victory of his career following a combined in Kitzbuehel in 2002-03 and a downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta.

At 6-foot-5 and 209 pounds, Walchhofer is built perfectly for the high-speed gliding that the relatively straight Saslong course demands.

Miller, who is slightly smaller, was in the lead after his run. By the time he removed his ski boots, however, Raich, the next racer to come down, had beat him. Walchhofer then posted the fastest time and Maier was the last of the super-G specialists to hit the course.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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