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WORLD SPORT

Rahlves defeats Miller in downhill

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Rahlves celebrates turning the tables on American compatriot Miller

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado -- Local favorite Daron Rahlves pipped fellow American and overall World Cup champion Bode Miller to victory in the men's downhill on Friday.

Rahlves won in a time of one minute 13.37 seconds in a race that was stopped several times because of poor visibility.

Miller, who skied out of Thursday's super-G, took second in 1:13.64 and Austria's Hans Grugger finished third in 1:13.71.

"To come out here and own this hill and to have a lot of people to share it with, it makes it that much more special," said Rahlves, who has now won seven World Cup downhill races in his career. "It's wonderful to win on your home turf."

Miller took the Beaver Creek downhill in 2004, with Rahlves finishing second.

"We switched it up this year," said Miller. "I got Daron pretty bad last year. He had a run that I think he thought was a winning run. He skied as well as he would have ever hoped and to get second hurt his confidence.

"He definitely got something back this year. I skied as well as I could ski on any given day. This could have been a winning run for me today and Daron somehow stepped it up and took the win."

The skiers had to contend with falling snow and fog, which forced organisers to move the start almost 1,000 feet (304 metres) down the course.

Poor weather has dogged the World Cup events at Beaver Creek. Downhill training was cancelled on Wednesday because of snow showers and the super-G race went ahead in stormy conditions.

"For me, the conditions were OK, the sight was pretty good," said Grugger. "It was a little bit windy on the start area but I think the course was okay. There was no fog and no extreme wind.

"I had a very good race from the beginning. My jumps were good and I knew I was racing fast. At the finish I gave it all I had."

Austrian Fritz Strobl, who won last month's opening downhill of the season in Lake Louise, Canada, was fourth in 1:14.34.

"Everybody knows that Daron and I are pretty excited for this race," said 28-year-old Miller. "It's one of those races where you really feel the essence of skiing.

"The jumps are huge and the snow conditions were surprisingly good. You're giving it all you've got. These kinds of races are awesome whether you get first or second or fifth or 20th."

Rahlves, 32, moved up to third in the overall World Cup standings with 205 points, three points behind Strobl. Norway's Svindal Aksel Lund remains top with 221 points. Miller is sixth overall with 182 points.

The win also put Rahlves third in the downhill standings on 100 points, 50 behind leader Strobl with Norwegian Kjetil Andre Aamodt second on 112.

"The Austrians always consider themselves the guys to beat." said Miller. "But Daron and I have established now that here, we're the guys to beat. That's fun."

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