Miller Wins Third Straight World Cup Race

Bode Miller 112904

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta Nov. 29, 2004 (AP) - Bode Miller became the first man to open a World Cup season with three victories in three disciplines, winning a super-giant slalom Sunday ahead of Hermann Maier.

Miller's first career Super G win came one day after his first World Cup downhill victory. He also won the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, and is just the fourth skier to win World Cup races in all five disciplines (slalom and combined are the others).

``It's awesome,'' Miller said. ``I didn't have as high expectations of myself coming into these races as the results I have achieved. It's always nice to get surprised once in a while by yourself. To move into that group, that's the most exclusive club there is in World Cup.''

He finished in 1 minute, 28.18 seconds. Maier was next in 1:28.32, with another Austrian, Michael Walchhofer, third in 1:28.73. Canada's Vincent Lavoie, the second skier on the hill, crashed and broke two bones in his left leg. He was taken to the hospital.

Miller, who in the past has been a slalom and giant slalom specialist, has focused on generating points in the speed events _ downhill and Super G _ as part of his bid to become the first American man since Phil Mahre in 1983 to win the World Cup overall title.

He's off to a perfect start, with the maximum 300 points in three races this season. Maier, the defending overall champion, is second in the standings with 136.

``I've had to battle through a lot of criticism, a lot of negative energy because of my urge and persistence to ski four events,'' said Miller, whose previous best Super G result was a seventh-place finish. ``It makes it sweet to have the fourth event win.''

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