CHAMONIX, France (Reuters) - Bode Miller, beaten in the last two World Cup downhills he entered, assuaged his disappointment by winning the Chamonix super-combined on Sunday.
The American laid claim to being the most versatile skier on the men’s circuit by clocking the fastest time in the downhill before finishing sixth fastest in the slalom for an overall time of two minutes 34.58 seconds.
Miller, who was seventh in Saturday’s downhill in the French resort, beat Croatian Ivica Kostelic by 0.45 seconds and Austrian Rainer Schoenfelder by 1.34 seconds.
The American had already eased the frustration of finishing second in the Kitzbuehel downhill last weekend by winning the “classic” combined which takes into account the results of the downhill and the slalom held on separate days in the Austrian resort.
The super-combined, by contrast, is a one-day event adding the times of a downhill held in the morning and a slalom leg in the afternoon.
In his career, the skier from New Hampshire has now won 29 World Cup races, including four combined.
Back in splendid form this season with two downhill victories in Bormio and Wengen and two combined wins, Miller was hampered by a slight ankle injury in Chamonix but mastered his slalom run to perfection without taking unnecessary risks.
Kostelic’s and Schoenfelder’s places on the podium were hardly surprises. The Croatian was the combined Olympic silver medalist two years ago while slalom specialist Schoenfelder showed he also had some speed by finishing fourth in Saturday’s downhill on the Green Piste of Les Houches.
Jean-Baptiste Grange, winner of the previous super-combined held in Wengen two weeks ago, had been the favorite on his return to home snow in France.
However, the slalom specialist lost far too much time in the downhill section — 3.33 seconds — to be a threat. He finished sixth.
“I was a little too tense. I could not find the right pace, the right feeling,” said Grange, who will hope to do better next weekend in Val d’Isere.
The French resort also hosts a downhill and a super-combined on the piste designed for the world championships next year.
Editing by Clare Fallon