Skiing: Miller the maverick secures second world title

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The Independent Online

Bode Miller confirmed himself as the world's best all-round skier yesterday by securing his second overall World Cup title in four years. The 30-year-old American maverick, who parted company with the US team last year to go it alone, sealed the title by finishing ahead of his closest challenger in the Super-G at the end-of-season meeting in Bormio, Italy.

With two races remaining – a giant slalom today and a slalom tomorrow, each with 100 points up for grabs to the winner – Switzerland's Didier Cuche would have had a theoretical chance of beating Miller, whose lead in the overall standings is 191 points this morning. Miller was 12th yesterday and Cuche 16th, in a race won by Austria's Hannes Reichelt.

But Cuche, a speed specialist, does not race in the slalom and while he might have done so to keep the race alive, a Swiss team spokeswoman confirmed he will not race tomorrow. Thus Miller is champion again, having won in 2005.

Miller, whose relationship with the American media in particular has often been poor because of criticism of his past playboy lifestyle, declined to comment on his success yesterday.

However his coach, John McBride, said: "I am proud of the kid. We definitely had our ups and downs this season, which had lots of missed opportunities and some super inspirational moments."

World Cup points are accrued over 40 races in five disciplines – downhill, Super-G, slalom, giant slalom and combined. Reichelt's win gave him the World Cup Super-G title, by a single point from Cuche. Reichelt dedicated his win to his Austrian team-mate Matthias Lanzinger, who had his leg amputated after a crash during the last super-G in Kvitfjell, Norway, earlier this month.

With Lindsey Vonn sealing the women's overall title, she and Miller become the first American duo to make a World Cup clean sweep since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney in 1983.

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