Italy's Innerhofer captures Beaver Creek downhill

PAT GRAHAM AP Sports Writer Published:

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) -- Christof Innerhofer of Italy glided through a demanding course to win his first World Cup downhill in nearly four years.

Innerhofer completed the Birds of Prey course in 1 minute, 41.69 seconds Friday, holding off Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal by 0.23 seconds. Svindal's teammate Kjetil Jansrud was third.

Defending champion Bode Miller watched the race from a seat near the finish area. He is recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee.

Innerhofer has recently been bothered by his back, but it hardly slowed him. His last downhill win was Dec. 28, 2008, in Bormio, Italy.

Svindal was one of the fastest skiers during training all week. He was coming off two wins in Lake Louise, Alberta, last weekend.