KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Bode Miller got a slap on the back from Austrian great Franz Klammer after narrowly escaping a crash on the famed Streif course.
Miller didn’t get his first victory at the classic World Cup downhill on Saturday, but he got style points for a save at 80 mph.
Miller caught an icy bump at the Hausbergkante, one of the most challenging parts of the course. It hit one of his skis so badly that it almost came off.
“Going across the Hausberg and your ski goes like that,” Miller said, “it feels a lot worse than it looked” on the TV screen for a crowd of about 25,000.
“Those are life-savers,” he said. “One hundred points is great, but I always try to be at the finish with all my parts intact. That was obviously, in some ways, better than a win, so I am happy.”
Miller quickly reacted and found his balance, but lost speed. He finished 29th, 1.35 seconds behind Didier Cuche, of Switzerland, who won a record fifth time on the course. Cuche overtook Klammer, who won the Hahnenkamm downhill four times in the 1970s and 80s.
The Austrian great congratulated Cuche and met Miller after he safely made it through the finish.
“People like to see this as much as they want to see a victory,” Klammer told the American.
WOMEN’S GIANT SLALOM: In Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Tessa Worley, of France, won a World Cup giant slalom after Elisabeth Goergl, of Austria, crashed at the bottom of the second run.
World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, finished fourth, just missing the podium by three-hundredths of a second despite a spectacular recovery to prevent a crash near the end of the race.
Worley clocked 2 minutes, 3.02 seconds down the course to beat Federica Brignone, of Italy, who finished in 2:03.58. Vonn increased her lead in the overall standings to 296 points ahead of Slovenia’s Tina Maze.