BORMIO, Italy - Michael Walchhofer led the final training session Saturday for a World Cup downhill on the Stelvio course, where the Austrian won back-to-back races in 2006.
Walchhofer timed 2 minutes, 4.39 seconds. Werner Heel of Italy, who led Friday's opening session, was second, a slim 0.04 seconds behind, and Ambrosi Hoffmann of Switzerland was third, 0.60 back.
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal posted the fourth fastest time, 0.63 behind, and defending overall champion Bode Miller was 10th, 1.38 back.
Miller won this race last season and also took the downhill and super-G gold medals at the 2005 world championships in Bormio.
Defending World Cup downhill champion Didier Cuche was faster than Walchhofer midway through his run, then missed a gate and did not finish.
"I'm saving myself for tomorrow,'' Cuche said.
Temperatures of -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) and icy conditions led most racers to declare the bottom portion of the course - where the sun doesn't shine - the toughest section they will face all season.
Steven Nyman of the United States missed a gate and was disqualified. Afterward, the Provo, Utah, resident said he would skip Sunday's race due to pain in his back.
Another member of the U.S. Ski Team, TJ Lanning of Park City, Utah, crashed at high speed Friday and will miss the race with a sprained right knee and a bruised rib.