Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow could keep Marcel Hirscher from his appointed role. The young Austrian turned phenom collected his third straight World Cup victory and his fifth of the season to take a commanding 230point lead of the Cup's overall standings by completing a double win at Adelboden Sunday (Jan. 8) adding the slalom win to that from Saturday's GS.
With a thick fog drifting up the hill making it difficult for the 30,000 in attendance to see the action and a course that continued to disintegrate with each passing racer, Hirscher turned on the afterburners on the final pitch to turn deficit to profit out-legging runner-up Ivica Kostelic to the finish. Italian Stefano Gross got third racing much earlier in the heat while his teammate Cristian Deville - having tied Hirscher for first run honors, could not cope with conditions and eventually straddled the final gate.
“I never thought a race could be so tough and hard to ski,” Hirscher said from the finish area. “It was really, really tough. It was foggy, it was snowing, and conditions were not the same, sometimes icy, sometimes soft, sometimes bumpy.”
He has steadfastly refused to be drawn into saying he will win the overall title and only points out there is much ski racing left before finals in March, but he has been gaining points in big bundles since January began and that formula worked well last season for defending champion Kostelic.
It was a race of attrition as 23 skiers of 68 starters did not finish the first run and another nine either failed to finish or were disqualified in the second.
Two North Americans collected top ten placings, Michael Janyk finished seventh and Nolan Kasper ninth. Brad Spence added 17th place. Will Brandenburg skied a conservative second run to get a finish and did in 22nd.
"The first 20 guys in the second run had decent visibility," said US tech coach Mike Day. "And the last 10 had absolutely horrid conditions. When Nolan went it was especially nasty, but then Gross caught a window with great light and he took that right to the podium. It just didn't matter what the weather was doing for Hirscher and Kostelic. They were both amazing... absolutely amazing."
The conditions for Janyk were about the same as for Kasper. "I made mistakes but I fought like hell," said Janyk, recently returned from an ankle injury. "That was one of the best runs I've done in a long time."
Julien Cousineau crashed out on the first run and immediately grabbed his knee. He is flying back to Canada for evaluation.
Hirscher photo by Gepa
MORE TO COME
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 8, 2012
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3 Gross, Voelkl//Marker
4 Matt, Blizzard/Tecnica/
5 Grange, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
7 Jaynk, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Kasper, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Valencic, Elan//Elan
Men's World Cup Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 8, 2012. ... It is the 16th race of the men's 45 race 2012 World Cup season with one cancellation. ... It is the fifth of 11 scheduled slaloms and the second of a two race set at Adelboden. ... It is the 51st Cup race at Adelboden. ... The tenth slalom.
It is the eighth career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. ... His fifth of the season and third straight. ... His career wins are evenly split between GS and slalom. ... He has won half of the technical races (SL&GS) held this season and been on two additional podiums.
It is the 47th career World Cup podium result for Ivica Kostelic. ... his 34th in slalom. ... It is his fourth podium of the season all in slalom. ... It is his fourth podium scored at Adelboden. ... all in slalom including the last three seasons.
It is the first World Cup podium placing for Stefano Gross and just his third top 10 result. ... His previous best finish at Adelboden had been 28th.
It is the 26th career Cup top 10 for Michael Janyk. ... and his second best result at Adelboden. ... It is his best result of three this season. .... It is the third best career Cup result for Nolan Kasper and second best of the season. ... It is the 19th best career Cup finish for Brad Spence and matches his finish from Adelboden last season. ... It is his fourth slalom score of the season and second only to 15th at Beaver Creek. ... It is the best career Cup placing for Will Brandenburg and his first of the season. ... It is his second score at Adelboden.
Hirscher leads the World Cup overall standings 725-495 for Kostelic. ... Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) is third with 456pts. ... Ted Ligety (DNF 2nd) is top American in fourth with 453. ... Bode Miller (DNF 1st) is sixth with 343pts. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 28th with 140pts. ... Kostelic leads the slalom standings 385-360 over Hirscher. ... Cristian Deville (DSQ 2nd) is third with 230pts. ... Kasper is top US skier in 14th with 90pts. ... Janyk top Canadian in 19th with 66pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|51||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA|
|50||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|
|37||421400||MYHRE Lars Elton||1984||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|71||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|56||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|