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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Thursday, 13 March 2008

Miller claims overall World crown

Miller won his first overall title in 2005
Miller won his first overall title in 2005

American Bode Miller secured his second overall World Cup crown when his closest challenger decided not to compete in one of the final two races.

Didier Cuche still had a mathematical chance of beating Miller but he will not race in Saturday's slalom.

It has capped a remarkable season for Miller after his split with the US Ski Team in May 2007 to go it alone.

Many predicted the maverick skier's career would suffer but instead he has won the season's main prize.

The double Olympic medallist, who also won the title in 2005, finished ahead of Cuche in the super-G on Thursday to increase his overall lead to 191 points, with just 200 left on offer.

Cuche could have overtaken Miller had he raced and won the giant slalom and slalom but he is a speed specialist and never normally competes in technical events and has decided not to try his luck.

But Cuche has already been celebrating this week after being crowned downhill champion in Bormio, Italy, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Austria's Hannes Reichelt won the final super-G in the Italian resort to clinch the World Cup title in that discipline by one point over Cuche, who came 16th.

606: DEBATE

Reichelt took the title by the slimmest of margins, beating Didier Defago of Switzerland by 0.01 seconds.

Reichelt covered the Stelvio course in one minute, 45.00 seconds for his third victory of the season and his fourth career win.

The season-ending races are taking place over six days in the Italian resort, with a giant slalom, slalom and team event the remaining races.

Miller missed out on a chance for the downhill title when the race was called off earlier this week because of the soft course, allowing Cuche to take the title without have to compete.

Miller and Lindsey Vonn are poised to become the first American duo to take the overall World Cup ski titles in 25 years.

The United States has not pulled off the men's and women's sweep since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney took the titles in 1983.

Vonn leads Germany's Maria Riesch by 197 points with two races remaining in a fight to take the overall title. The American has already secured the downhill title, while Reisch has captured the super-G crown.



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