SOCHI, Russia -- Bode Miller issued one last warning call to his Alpine rivals here Saturday morning, finishing his final training run on the treacherous downhill course at Krasnaya Polyana with the fastest time of the day, a stunning 2:06.09 clocking.
Miller's time was .66 seconds better than the second-fastest of the day -- world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway. There were 10 racers who failed to finish on the icy hard conditions. A few crashed. Another 19 decided not to line up. Miller, 36, was in his element.
"I was going to go easier but seeing those first couple of guys crashing, I decided not to do that," Miller said. "It is so damn fast and the snow is so hard that you don't want to sacrifice edge pressure and grip on the snow for aerodynamics If you are not totally focused, this course can kill you. It is one of those courses where I don't think you are safe going easy."
"The whole middle [section] you can see the glare ice reflection, but I just said, (bleeping) bring it'. It's a pleasure for me to ski on this track. I would be angry with myself if I had wasted this opportunity to properly run on this track."
Sunday morning's final is shaping up as a two-man battle between Miller and Svindal, who seemed resigned to the fact that Miller is the main competition.
"I think I will have to beat Bode Miller," Svindal said. "He is really fast and skis really well. What he is doing is impressive."