Miller crashes, but he wins race

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The old Bode Miller is back. He's winning, he's joking and, of course, he's taking risks.

Miller took a particularly aggressive line in the final turns of a downhill Saturday before crashing across the finish line to win the Lauberhorn race at Wengen, Switzerland, and move to within two wins of Phil Mahre's U.S. record for World Cup victories.

Miller finished in 2 minutes 28.89 seconds for his 25th World Cup victory, 0.65 of a second faster than Didier Cuche, who was timed in 2:29.54. Peter Fill was third, 1.47 seconds behind.

"It's tough. I knew I was pretty much going to crash in the finish if I skied the last 'S' like I wanted to," Miller said. "I was pretty prepared for it."

Aksel Lund Svindal, who was eighth in 2:30.75, still leads the World Cup overall standings with 671 points after 19 races. Cuche is second with 651, and Miller is third with 640.

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Renate Goetschl won a World Cup downhill at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, when American Julia Mancuso lost her balance on the final jump. Mancuso finished third.

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Ole Einar Bjorndalen won his 70th World Cup biathlon event to lead a top-three sweep for Norway at Ruhpolding, Germany.

TENNIS

Blake beats Moya for another Sydney title

Third-seeded James Blake won the Sydney International for the second year in a row, defeating Carlos Moya, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

It is Blake's sixth title in the last year. Only Roger Federer has more victories during that span, with 12.

SOCCER

Manchester United wins in front of record crowd

Manchester United defeated Aston Villa, 3-1, on three first-half goals in front of a record English Premier League crowd of 76,073 at Old Trafford.

United, in first place and six points ahead of Chelsea, beat Villa for the 11th consecutive time. Park Ji-sung, Michael Carrick and Cristiano Ronaldo scored before the 35th minute to put United in control. It was United's 18th victory in 23 league games for 57 points.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Nelson, Moss leaving Florida for the NFL

Florida All-American safety Reggie Nelson and defensive end Jarvis Moss confirmed they will leave school early and make themselves available for the NFL draft.

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Today's Hula Bowl in Honolulu is the closest thing to a Boise State-Florida showdown this season. Quarterback Jared Zabransky, who led the Broncos to a 13-0 season, will lead the West against the East, which features three Gators: center Steve Rissler, cornerback Reggie Lewis and defensive tackle Joe Cohen.

MISCELLANY

Strahan ordered to pay $15 million to ex-wife

New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan was ordered to pay his ex-wife $15.3 million -- more than half his net worth -- in keeping with the couple's prenuptial agreement.

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Four Colorado State women's basketball players were suspended for allegedly setting off a chemical bomb in a prank outside a teammate's apartment in Fort Collins. No injuries and no structural damage resulted.

They will be charged with one count of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, police spokeswoman Rita Davis said.

The four are freshmen: starting guards Emily Neal and Kelly Jo Mullaney and reserves Raysha Ritter and Brittney Stirling.

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