Miller 4th in Olympic Downhill Test
SOCHI, Russia (Feb. 11) - With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the crowd, Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) rode a razor sharp line to finish fourth by a mere two hundredths of a second in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup test of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games downhill. Miller carried the green leader light through the first two timing intervals before his skis hooked up on the middle of the course forcing him to dump speed coming into the jump section. Swiss Beat Feuz won on his 25th birthday to move within 50 points of World Cup overall leader Ivica Kostelic of Croatia.
- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in the crowd as Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) finshed fourth in the 2014 Olympic downhill dress rehearsal, missing the podium by .02 seconds
- It was the first time the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup had ever been staged in Russia
- The race was used as a test event for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games - Miller praised the venue as one of the best alpine competition slopes he's ever seen
- Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) did not start in order to rest for the super combined. Travis Ganong just missed the points in 31st
- Swiss Beat Feuz won on his 25th birthday to move within 50 points of overall leader Ivica Kostelic of Croatia
- Canadian Ben Thomsen was second for the first podium of his career follow by Adrien Theaux of France
- The final super combined of the season will be staged Sunday in Sochi
The technical tough part is on the top, it's the first minute or so. We've been struggling on the setup trying to figure out what to do on these bumps and firm ice. Those kind of spots are where I'm able to put time on guys.
The setup of this hill is good, the jumps are awesome - they're huge as you can see, but they have good landings and straight take-offs, so it sets up for a great natural downhill. But they do have to figure out how much risk they're willing to take with the course set.
The athletes will ski whatever. The Olympic downhill has to be the real thing and especially when you have such a great venue as this, it would be awesome to showcase it, but this is way too turny for a downhill. It is tough when they've never run a race before, but I'm sure they're learning as much as we are and I'm sure they'll figure out how to use this terrain and make something special.
A downhill should be a challenge, it should be dangerous and it should have risk. Part of that comes from carrying speed off of terrain and into big turns. If it doesn't challenge athletes, then you won't ever see their best. The Olympics and World Cup deserves to provide an opportunity for athletes to show their best. It's got to be tough.
Downhill should be straight and fast, so maybe it's too turny, but this hill is for real, it's not a downhill where you sit in the start and you're super relaxed. You definitely have to think about it and you know you have to charge it. I'm mostly here for the training and the combined, so getting a result in the downhill was never my focus for being here.
This is the cooleset hill I've ever seen for ski racing - downhill, super G - it doesn't matter. This hill is just awesome top-to-bottom. It's has really steep technical sections, really cool rolls and terrain with bank turns and then big jumps and the mountains around here are georgous. The set can probably use some change before the Olympics and they'll work on that in the next couple of years, but in general this is a great hill.
I feel like during the first inspection run we were all just shaking our heads going 'what is going on here' because there is so much terrain to learn. But after four days on the hill I feel super confident. It would be nice to be back here for another race.