GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Veteran Marco Buechel finally posted his first World Cup victory at the age of 31 on Sunday, for Liechtenstein's first victory in 10 years.
Buechel made a masterful recovery from a near-fall midway down the course to complete the Super-G run in 1 minute, 16.13 seconds, defeating newly crowned world champion Stephan Eberharter of Austria by 0.13 seconds.
Eberharter was the runner-up in 1:16.26, while Switzerland's Tobias Gruenenfelder climbed his first career podium, finishing third in 1:16.33.
It was a sweet victory after such a long wait for Buechel, after accumulating seven top-three finishes in a career that began in 1994. This season, he twice climbed the podium in the super-G.
At the world championships in Vail, Colorado four years ago, Buechel again had settled for silver.
Buechel nearly didn't win, losing his balance after hitting a bump and landing on his inside ski. Shooting forward on one foot, with the other stuck out straight to the side, he struggled to regain control before finally getting both his skis back under him.
He then watched astonished as the field's best were unable to better his time.
Buechel became the first skier from Liechtenstein to win a World Cup race since Markus Foser won a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, in 1993, and the first to win a super-G since Andreas Wenzel won on this same hill in 1984.
The victory put him in the lead of the super-G standings with 280 points and with just one race left in this season, his chances of clinching the title are strong.
American Bode Miller, the new world giant slalom and combined champion, went off course, a setback in his bid to catch Eberharter in the overall World Cup standings.
It was a poor weekend for the American, who arrived in Garmisch looking for points to keep up with Eberharter, but ended up gaining a measly three points, finishing a distant 28th in Saturday's downhill.
It was a fruitful weekend for the Austrian, however, who collected 100 points from his downhill win, and 80 points for his second place in the super-G.
The next stop on the World Cup circuit features more of Miller's favored technical events.
Eberharter increased his lead to 1,145 points at the top of the World Cup overall standings with his second-place finish. Miller is second with 960.