Didier Cuche of Switzerland has captured his first victory of the alpine skiing World Cup season, winning an extremely close super-Giant slalom race in Val Gardena, Italy.

Cuche sped down the course in 1:36.62. American Bode Miller finished second, his first podium since breaking away from the U.S. Ski team. Miller decided to leave the U.S. team ahead of this season to train and race on his own.

He was only 0.02 seconds slower than Cuche on Friday. That is the same narrow margin by which Miller finished ahead of third-placed Marco Buechel of Liechtenstein (1:36.66).

Cuche is coming off a standout 2006-2007 season, during which he won the World Cup downhill title and finished second behind Miller in the super-G standings. The traditional downhill is scheduled to be run at Val Gardena on Saturday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.