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December 22. 2013 12:41AM

New Hampshire's Miller takes fifth in downhill


Bode Miller of Franconia reacts after crossing the finish line during the men's World Cup Downhill skiing race Italy Saturday. (Max Rossi/Reuters)

Bode Miller, of Franconia, N.H., continued to build speed on the Road to Sochi with a fifth-place finish Saturday in the 46th Saslong Classic World Cup downhill in Val Gardena, Italy.

Miller fell behind, but then rallied to finish .15 of a second off the podium. Erik Guay of Canada won the race.

"On the top I didn't feel like I was going fast," Miller told the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. "I took a little bit of risk in some parts and pulled off some decent turns. I skied pretty well but it's one of those courses where there's not enough to it to bring it back in with my technical ability.

"Bode's skiing on the Ciaslot section was amazing, absolutely amazing," said Sasha Rearick, men's alpine head coach. "He's coming along. I think we figured some things out with the gliding to get him in closer. When he ran there was flat light that came in about 10 seconds before he went out of the gate. So I don't think he had the most luck on the top with light, but we're making steps and we're getting closer."

Another Granite Stater, Leanne Smith, of North Conway, notched a 14th-place finish at the downhill race on Saturday in Val D'Isere, France. She was the top American on a track that bounced eight racers, including four Americans, off course. Lindsay Vonn was among the non-finishers.

Smith raced with a minor fracture to her left arm, which she suffered in a training crash earlier last week, according to the USSA News Bureau.


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