Miller retains overall lead despite missing men's slalom

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia -- Bode Miller sat out the slalom and Manfred Moelgg of Italy won the World Cup event Sunday.

Miller, the overall World Cup leader, retained his lead despite skipping the race. His closest rivals missed an opportunity to gain ground when Didier Cuche of Switzerland did not race and Benjamin Raich of Austria failed to finish the first run after missing a gate.

Miller decided not to start after watching Raich ski out, according to the USA Ski Team Web site. Earlier, organizers said Miller did not race because of minor back pain.

Moelgg won in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.29 seconds, edging Ivica Kostelic of Croatia by 0.41. Marcel Hirscher of Austria finished third.

Miller leads with 1,387 points with four races remaining at the World Cup finals next week in Bormio, Italy. Cuche remains a contender for the overall title with 1,218 points.

With the final downhill, super G, giant slalom and slalom races ahead, Miller stands a good chance to claim his second overall title.

In 2005, Miller became the first American since Phil Mahre in 1983 to win the men's overall title.

Moelgg's victory lifted him to second place in the slalom standings with 491 points. Jean-Baptiste Grange of France finished fourth Sunday and leads the discipline with 512 points and one race left.

American Ted Ligety was seventh.

"I know that Jean-Baptiste [Grange] is still going to Bormio in front of me, but I hope I put a little bit pressure on him before the last race," Moelgg said.

Raich missed a gate halfway through the first run and earned no points. He said the race for the overall trophy was over for him.

"For the overall, it's gone," said Raich, who won the overall title in 2006. "I needed the 100 points today and they are not possible now."

He plans to focus on winning the giant slalom title.