Maier wins and Walchhofer crashes in Kvitfjell downhill; Miller fourthHermann Maier of Austria won the Kvitfjell downhill today in Norway, while Bode Miller of the United States extended his slim lead in the overall World Cup standings with a fourth place finish.
Maier beat his young teammate Mario Scheiber by 0.13 seconds. Maier’s last downhill win came over a year ago at St. Anton, Austria. This is his 49th World Cup win, which makes him one short tying the mark of Alberto Tomba.
Third place went to Switzerland’s Ambrosi Hoffman, who sat out the early part of this season with an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee.
Miller and his teammate Daron Rahlves were fourth and fifth on the Kvitfjell track. Their teammate Scott Macartney, who started first, finished 43rd. The only other American in the race, Justin Johnson, did not finish. The top Canadian in the race, Erik Guay, finished 13th.
Benjamin Raich of Austria came into the race trailing Miller by just 31 points in the overall standings — the closest margin of the season. Raich got big air on Kvitfjell’s jumps, and looked ragged as he approached the finish. He finished 12th in the race. He now trails Miller by 59 points.
Miller also closed the gap on World Cup downhill standings leader Michael Walchhofer, who crashed into the netting but skied away unhurt. Miller now trails Walchhofer by 93 points in that category, so to win the globe he would need to win the final downhill on March 9, and would need Walchhofer to finish out of the points.
Early in the race, Patrick Jaerbyn of Sweden crashed hard and spun off the course into the fences. He was able to stand up, but clutched his wrist in pain.
There is a super G scheduled for Sunday at this Norwegian resort, which was used for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. The American coaches will set that course this afternoon.
On Sunday and Monday, the top athletes will fly to Switzerland to take part in next week’s World Cup Finals — one race in each discipline to wrap up the season and determine the discipline title champions.
March 5, 2005
1. Hermann Maier, AUT 1:46.10
2. Mario Scheiber, AUT 1:46.23
3. Ambrosi Hoffmann, SUI 1:46.41
4. Bode Miller, USA 1:46.75
5. Daron Rahlves, USA 1:46.86
6. Marco Buechel, LIE 1:47.03
7. Christoph Gruber, AUT 1:47.04
8. Silvan Zurbriggen, SUI 1:47.10
9. Fritz Strobl, AUT 1:47.12
10. Didier Defago, SUI 1:47.13
11. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, NOR 1:47.16
12. Benjamin Raich, AUT 1:47.21
13. Erik Guay, CAN 1:47.22
14. Peter Fill, ITA 1:47.23
15. David Poisson, FRA 1:47.26
16. Yannick Bertrand, FRA 1:47.30
17. Johann Grugger, AUT 1:47.40
18. Pierre Dalcin, FRA 1:47.48
19. Aksel Lund Svindahl, NOR 1:47.50
20. Werner Franz, AUT 1:47.51
21. Alessandro Fattori, ITA 1:47.63
22. Klaus Kroell, AUT 1:47.75
23. Francois Bourque, CAN 1:47.79
24. Kristian Ghedina, ITA 1:47.80
24. Andreas Schifferer, AUT 1:47.80
26. Konrad Hari, SUI 1:47.93
27. John Kucera, CAN 1:48.04
28. Cornel Zueger, SUI 1:48.06
28. Kurt Sulzenbacher, ITA 1:48.06
30. Florian Eckert, GER 1:48.15
other North Americans:
38. Manuel Osborne, CAN 1:48.43
43. Scott Macartney, USA 1:48.89
DNS: Jeff Hume, CAN.
DNF: Justin Johnson, USA.
By Hank McKee
Men’s Downhill, Kvitfjell, Norway, March 5, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Maier, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Scheiber, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
3 Hoffmann, Stoeckli/Atomic/Atomic
4 Miller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Buechel, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
7 Gruber, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Zurbriggen, Fischer/Lange/Tyrolia
9 Strobl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
It is the 31st event and 30th race of the men’s 35 race, two-combined World Cup schedule (1 combined was canceled). … Five men’s races remain. … It is the 10th of 11 scheduled downhills. … Winning margin is .13 of a second. … Eighth place is exactly one second behind first.
It is the 49th career World Cup victory for Hermann Maier. … He is one win behind Alberto Tomba and second place among men on the all-time Cup victory list. … It his 14th career DH win. … It is his second Cup win of the season. … First of the season in DH. … He also won the gold medal in GS at the World Championships. … It is his fourth win at Kvitfjell. … First at Kvitfjell since 2001.
It is the third podium of Mario Scheiber’s career (and season). … second in DH. … The result matches his career best result from Garmisch DH 2/19/05.
It is the third career podium for Ambrosi Hoffmann, all in DH. … His first podium since 1/24/2004 at Kitzbuehel. … His only better result is 2nd at Altenmarkt 3/6/02. … It is the second best result of the season for the Swiss.
It is the 47th career top four for Bode Miller. … It is his third 4th place in DH this season. … It is easily Miller’s best result at Kvitfjell eclipsing a 22nd in 2004 for that recognition. … It is the eighth time this season Daron Rahlves has finished fifth in a race. … It is his 34th top five result. … It is his 7th career top five at Kvitfjell where he has won three times. … His first two career victories came at Kvitfjell. … Erik Guay matches his seventh best career result in 13th. … It is his fourth best Cup result of the season. … It is the seventh career scoring result for Francois Bourque. … sixth of the season. … It is the third career scoring result for John Kucera. … All from this season.
Bode Miller’s overall tour lead expands to 59pts (1303-1244) over Benjamin Raich (12th in race) with five races remaining. … Hermann Maier closes in third at 1058. … Daron Rahlves is the next ranked American in fifth at 736. … Michael Walchhofer (DNF) maintains the downhill standings lead by 93 (631-538) for Miller. … Rahlves is third at 399. … One DH remaining.