GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany Christof Innerhofer of Italy mastered a bumpy course to win the super-G at the world championships for his first major title, while Bode Miller lost a pole and finished 12th.
Hannes Reichelt of Austria was second, and overall World Cup leader Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was third.
Defending champion Didier Cuche of Switzerland missed the podium and finished fourth, while Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway failed to finish.
Miller, the Olympic silver medalist, clipped a gate with his arm and lost a pole. He maintained a fast pace and nearly was a full second ahead of the 10 previous racers. But he lost his balance coming out of a bend at the bottom, slowed down and stood up as he crossed the finish line.
I tried to push on the top, but I hooked my arm pretty hard, Miller said. I made the recovery, but then I lost my balance. I skied like I wanted on the top. But its a matter of finishing without making mistakes.
Millers run inspired Innerhofer.
I saw Bode Miller, and I told myself thats how I had to race, too, he said. Simply give your best, then you cant reproach yourself at the finish.
Innerhofer only has one World Cup victory to date a downhill in Bormio, Italy, in December 2008 but he beat Reichelt by a massive 0.60 seconds, finishing in 1 minute, 38.31 seconds.
Reichelt, who won the World Cup super-G race Saturday, clocked 1:38.91. Kostelic finished in 1:39.03.
These races come only once every two years, so I knew I had to go all out (Wednesday), Innerhofer said. You cant make any sort of calculations. The course is incredible and exhausting, but I managed to keep things under control.
Miller said skiing without the pole didnt seem to make much of a difference. He likely would have broken into the top 10 if he had not crossed the line in a leisurely fashion.
It was difficult. It was challenging. But thats how it should be. Its the world championships. Its a pretty tame hill. Its really basic, Miller said. But (on Wednesday) it was bumpy enough and fast enough to make it challenging. You see a lot of guys having problems, and if you see Innerhofer skiing, he really deserves to win here. He was one of the few guys really pushing and really taking some risk.
Ted Ligety of the United States, who went off the course, said running early was more difficult.
A couple of turns you get some sun, Ligety said. Just in general its in the shade all the way down, and that makes it tough when its that bumpy.