Miller secures overall crown as Reichelt wins super-G title
13 March 2008
BORMIO, Italy – Austria’s Hannes Reichelt won the final men’s super-G race of the season in Bormio Thursday to claim the World Cup crown in the discipline ahead of Switzerland’s Didier Cuche.
The result also means Bode Miller secures the overall World Cup title as the American now has a lead of 191 points over Cuche after finishing in 12th, four places above the Swiss.
Although there are still two races remaining and 200 points up for grabs, Cuche can no longer overhaul Miller as he will only be competing in Friday’s giant slalom while other challenger Benjamin Raich of Austria is over 200 points adrift.
Miller leads the overall standings with 1,409 points, followed by Cuche on 1,218 and Raich on 1,173.
"I didn’t give myself too many chances with the overall title," admitted Raich. "But I am going into the giant slalom in good form."
Reichelt went into the race 99 points behind Cuche in the super-G standings but claimed victory in a time of 1 minute 45.00 seconds to pip the Swiss to the crystal globe by a single point after Cuche finished down in 16th spot and out of the points.
Switzerland’s Didier Defago took second place on the day in a time of 1:45.01 minutes with Slovenia’s Ales Gorza completing the podium placings.
Reichelt ends the season on 341 points after seven super-G events, followed by Cuche on 340 and Raich on 286.
"I did my part and maybe there was some heavenly intervention in how it turned out," said the 27-year-old Austrian after clinching the fourth World Cup victory of his career.
Cuche, who missed out on 15th spot by just 0.13 seconds, was more sanguine about missing out on the super-G title just two days after claiming the downhill World Cup trophy for the second straight year because the last race in the discipline set for Wednesday had to be scrapped over training cancellations.
"I wanted to be tactical," said the 33-year-old. "If I had finished in 15th spot, it could have been said how clever I was. Now I just look the fool."
In the women’s super-G event, Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter enjoyed her second win in a row as Maria Riesch took the super-G title thanks to a sixth-place finish.
Suter indicated that she is a star of the future by winning the women’s super-G in a time of 1:19.48 minutes. Downhill champion Lindsey Vonn took second spot, 0.26 seconds behind the winner, to extend her lead in the overall World Cup standings with Austria’s Alexandra Meissnitzer third.
Riesch secured her second crystal globe of the season after the combined title as main rival Elisabeth Goergl of Austria’s fifth- place finish proved insufficient.
Riesch finishes with 374 points after seven super-G events, followed by Goergl on 326 and Suter on 305.
Vonn heads the overall World Cup standings on 1,343 points with two events remaining. Riesch sits second on 1,146, followed by compatriot Nicole Hosp on 1,109 points.
The World Cup finale at Bormio continues Friday with the men’s giant slalom and women’s slalom events while on Saturday the men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom take place.
[Copyright dpa 2008]