Christoph Gruber wins Garmisch super G; Bode Miller fourth
Christoph Gruber of Austria won the Garmisch super G on Sunday, finding the smallest possible advantage over the second-place finisher, Didier Defago of Switzerland. Canada's young Francois Bourque finished third.
The track deteriorated during the race, causing problems for some of the top-ranked racers. "For sure it was an advantage to start 17 and not 30," said Gruber, who won by just a hundredth of a second.
It was the third win by an Austrian man in three days. Michael Walchhofer won downhills at Garmisch on Friday
It was a gratifying result for Didier Defago, whose team failed to win a medal at the alpine world championships earlier this month. Defago and his teammates were occasionally lampooned in the Swiss media.
"One hundredth is nothing, and second place is like a victory," said Patrice Morisod, one of Defago's coaches on the Swiss team. "We have a good team this year, but with the injury from Cuche, we have only two big racers: Defago and Kernen."
For Bourque, who won three medals last year at the world junior championships, it was a first-ever World Cup podium.
"It still hasn't quite set in," said Bourque, more than once. "Maybe a little later I will realize it." He was only 0.04 seconds from victory, which would have been the first for a Canadian man since 1988 (see below for stats).
American Bode Miller finished fourth, after making fewer mistakes than he had in the previous two days of racing.
"It was a pretty tough day because the track went in and out of the downhill track," said Miller. "They had so many slippers in the downhill that they got it into good shape, but they pushed all of that snow off the downhill track and onto where we were skiing today."
Among other Americans, Daron Rahlves finished sixth, Scott Macartney 35th and Justin Johnson 51st.
Patrick Jaerbyn of Sweden, who often trains with the American team and hangs out in Vail, Colorado, crashed in the race and dislocated his shoulder. Rather than going to a hospital to have it repositioned, he had a doctor on the slope move it back into place, and skied to the finish with his arm in a makeshift sling.
The great Marc Girardelli was in the finish area after the race. He is a consultant coach for the German ski team.
"I think it's about the same as 15 years ago," he said of the World Cup. "There are really only two characters on the course, which is Hermann Maier and Bode Miller. The others, the people will not remember them for a long time. But these two characters will be remembered forever."World Cup
Men's super G
Feb. 20, 2005
1. Christoph Gruber, AUT 1:18.18
2. Didier Defago, SUI 1:18.19
3. Francois Bourque, CAN 1:18.22
4. Bode Miller, USA 1:18.39
5. Michael Walchhofer, AUT 1:18.40
6. Daron Rahlves, USA 1:18.44
7. Johann Grugger, AUT 1:18.48
8. Hermann Maier, AUT 1:18.54
9. Bruno Kernen, SUI 1:18.56
10. Benjamin Raich, AUT 1:18.59
11. Erik Guay, CAN 1:18.76
12. Hannes Reichelt, AUT 1:18.79
13. Marco Buechel, LIE 1:18.81
13. Andreas Schifferer, AUT 1:18.81
15. Patrick Staudacher, ITA 1:18.85
16. Konrad Hari, SUI 1:18.86
17. Juerg Gruenenfelder, SUI 1:18.93
18. Florian Eckert, GER 1:18.97
19. Matthias Lanzinger, AUT 1:19.01
20. Peter Fill, ITA 1:19.02
21. Mario Scheiber, AUT 1:19.12
22. Ambrosi Hoffmann, SUI 1:19.19
23. Tobias Gruenenfelder, SUI 1:19.20
24. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR 1:19.22
25. Stephan Goergl, AUT 1:19.27
26. Felix Neureuther, GER 1:19.33
26. Silvan Zurbriggen, SUI 1:19.33
28. Max Rauffer, GER 1:19.34
29. Pierre Dalcin, FRA 1:19.43
30. Finlay Mickel, GBR 1:19.44
other North Americans:
34. John Kucera, CAN 1:19.71
35. Scott Macartney, USA 1:19.72
37. Manuel Osborne, CAN 1:19.76
40. Jeff Hume, CAN 1:20.14
51. Justin Johnson, USA 1:21.16
DNF: David Anderson, CAN.
By Hank McKee
Men's SG, Garmisch, Germany, Feb. 20, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Gruber, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Bourque, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Grugger, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
8 Maier, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Kernen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
World Cup, Men's Super G, Garmisch, Germany, Feb. 19, 2005. ... It is the 28th race of the men's 35 race 2005 World Cup schedule. ... It is the fifth of seven scheduled super G's. ... It is the final race of a three race set at Garmisch. ... Winning margin is the smallest possible at one one-hundredth of a second. ...The top 21 skiers are within the same second.
It is the third win of Christoph Gruber's career. ... And the first since he won Garmisch SG 1/28/2001. ... Five of his nine podiums have come in SG (3 in GS, 1 DH). ... Was also 2nd in Kitzbuehel SG for his only other podium result of the season.
It is the fifth podium result for Didier Defago and his third in SG (2 in combined). ... It is his second podium of the season with the other coming in combined at Wengen. ... It is the sixth Swiss podium of the season without a win.
It is the fifth World Cup scoring result for Francois Bourque and his first top 10 as well as first podium. ... He is the third Canadian male to claim a World Cup SG podium and the first since 1988. ... (Felix Belczyk 1st Leukerbad 1/25/88 & Brian Stemmle 3rd Furano 3/3/85). ... It is the fifth Canadian podium of the season.
It is the 46th career top four for Bode Miller. ... His 15 of the season - not including two medals at the World Championships. ... It is his fourth top four in SG. ... all of them this season. ... It is the 38th career top six for Daron Rahlves. ... The 10th this season - plus two Championship top four placings. ... It matches a fifth best career result for Erik Guay and third best in SG all since 11/29/2003.
Miller maintains the overall standings lead 1253-1062 for Benjamin Raich (10th in race). ... Rahlves is next American in fifth with 646 points. ... There are eight races remaining on the schedule. ... Miller also takes the SG standings lead 325-324 over Hermann Maier (8th). ... Rahlves is fourth at 188. ... There are two SG's remaining.