American ski star Bode Miller still feeling effects of crash

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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VAL GARDENA, Italy Bode Miller is still feeling the effects of his high-speed crash in Colorado two weeks ago and has had to limit his training due to a sprained ankle as he enters a four-race weekend in Italy.

Miller fell after clipping his ski on a gate in the Beaver Creek downhill on Dec. 5.

Its sore, said Forest Carey, Millers head coach. It affects how much we can train, and when you do all four events its a challenge to stay sharp in all of them. ... You have to do a lot of in-season training.

Miller finished eighth in downhill training Thursday despite almost losing control just before crossing the finish line.

The weekends racing begins Friday with a super-G, an event Miller won in 2006 and finished second to Didier Cuche last year. The circuit then moves to nearby Alta Badia another venue where Miller has won for a giant slalom and slalom Sunday and Monday.

Miller has failed to finish four of his first nine races this season and his best finish was a runner-up spot in the slalom in Levi, Finland, last month his best finish in the discipline since winning in Sestriere four years ago.

Its still relatively early and were just going about doing things the way we normally do, Carey told The Associated Press. He broke in in slalom and loves slalom. But a lot of people have written that hes focusing on slalom this year, and I would say that he focuses on racing.

If you look at his (downhill) training runs hes been fast this year.

Miller broke away from the U.S. Ski Team and formed Team America last season to train and race on his own and won the overall World Cup title. But his personal head coach and longtime mentor, John McBride, and uncle Mike Kenney both left after last season.

Carey, who is only a year older than Miller, is now directing the team.

It can be a little confusing sometimes because nobody knows whos in charge, said Millers boyhood friend Jake Serino, who drives Millers trailer and cooks for the skier. Of course Bode is, but he lets everyone wonder. The decisions are up to him and it depends how he feels. Its probably a little tougher to tell him to go train.

Serino said that he and Miller spend most nights rocking out on the video game Rock Band in their trailer, adding that Bode gets excited for any Metallica song.

Organizations: The Associated Press, U.S. Ski Team, Team America

Geographic location: GARDENA, Colorado, Italy Beaver Creek Levi Finland

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