Course can kill, warns shaken Miller

Sat Feb 8, 2014 5:15am EST
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By Martyn Herman

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Bode Miller laid bare the dangers faced by the downhillers going for gold on Sunday when he said the treacherous Rosa Khutor piste "could kill you".

The American veteran clocked a speed of 132.59 kilometers (82.4 miles) per hour as he topped the timesheets in the third and final training run for the showpiece men's race but was clearly shaken after seeing team mate Marco Sullivan narrowly escape a serious crash.

Sullivan lost control on a flatter section soon after landing off the Bear's Brow jump and was heading towards a flimsy-looking red plastic safety fence at high speed before veering to safety and abandoning his run.

Moments earlier Slovenian Rok Perko crashed heavily and was left with a bloody nose as the slick 3,495 meter track caused havoc with 10 racers failing to finish.

"It's very treacherous. This course has teeth everywhere," Miller told reporters after managing to tame it with a near perfect run.

"The top is aggressive and speeds are so high and the turns are so swingy and bumpy that you can hook an edge anywhere.

"You saw Marco today. It doesn't look like it, it's an innocuous place and there's nothing there, but he almost killed himself. If that crash doesn't go just the way it went, he goes flying through B nets going 75 straight into the trees."

"That angle he was going at right there is the worst spill zone on the entire course and this is one of those things that if you are not totally focused and paying attention, this course can kill you."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

Bode Miller of the U.S. skis during the third training session for the men's alpine skiing downhill event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger