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Miller Wins Third Straight World Cup Race

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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.”

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press