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NFL CANADA

SKI NOTE


Sunday, October 26, 10:09 AM
(ADDING INFORMATION, QUOTES)

*Bode Miller wins season-opening giant slalom*
----------------------------------------------

By Brooke Edwards 
SportsTicker Contributing Editor

SOELDEN, Austria (Ticker) - American Bode Miller put his money
where his mouth was Sunday, winning the season-opening giant
slalom by a massive 1.12 seconds over the rest of the field.

Miller, who has announced he is stalking Austrian Stephan
Eberharter's overall World Cup trophy, posted the fastest times
in both runs to win with an aggregate time of 2 minutes, 9.58
seconds.

France's Frederic Covili was runner-up in 2:10.70, while
teammate Joel Chenal had a spectacular second run to cross third
in 2:10.76.  Eighth after the opening leg, Chenal was
second-quickest the next trip down, vaulting him onto the
podium.

The victory was an important start to the season for Miller, the
reigning world champion in the discipline. After adding the
speed events to his curriculum last season along with a number
of misfortunes, his results in the technical disciplines had
dipped.  The American is now trying to balance all the events in
his bid to dethrone Eberharter.

"I have a really good feeling about this race," Miller said. "It
is a good start but you know you can win the first race and
still not go on to win any others or take the overall. I think
I did a lot of right things in preparing.  I have a good
feeling about this season."

Eberharter, the giant slalom Olympic champion, had a
disappointing race.  Sixth in the opening leg, the powerful
Austrian dropped to eighth after the second for a combined time
of 2:11.59 - 2.01 seconds slower than his American rival.

"I'm satisfied with this result only because I had a fever a
couple of days ago and I'm not feeling great," he said. "I
wasn't feeling fit enough. This gives me confidence for the
speed events."

Austrian Hermann Maier, in his first full season after his
motorcycle injury in 2001, roused the crowd despite finishing
16th in 2:12.67.

"The Herminator" missed almost two years after almost losing his
leg in the accident, but has shown he is not to be discounted,
winning a super-G last January in only his fourth race back.

Miller was the only American to qualify for the second leg.

Erik Schlopy, who climbed the world championship podium with
Miller last year when he lifted bronze, fell midway down the
course after both his skis split behind the boot. Schlopy was
uninjured, coaches said.

Daron Rahlves, who added the giant slalom to his curriculum this
season, finished just out of the top 30 in the opening leg,
crossing 32nd in 1:05.39.  Rahlves had been suffering from a bad
cold the last couple of days.

st 10-26-03 10:00 et





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