Kostelic adds slalom win as Hirscher DQs
Ivica Kostelic's experience, and what he did with it, paid dividends Sunday (Jan. 15) as he added the slalom of the 82nd Lauberhorn to Friday's win of the combined. It marked his 22nd career World Cup win, his fourth slalom win at Wengen and his fourth win of the season. Over this season and last it is his 11th January victory.
The first run exit of Austrian Marcel Hirscher definitely played a role in the race. He had won the three previous slaloms and appeared well on his way to the fourth looking like a skier from another league. With crisp turns, steady body, perfect form and smooth transitions between turns he had blazed to a .77 of a second lead only to have the television cameras reveal he had straddled a gate high on the course.
“It can happen at any gate. It’s business,” Hirscher said. “What can I say? It happened. I skied an awesome run. ... I couldn’t feel exactly what happened. Sometimes you hit a gate pretty close. It’s not a big difference between straddling and hitting a gate pretty hard.”
With Hirscher gone it left Mario Matt, Cristian Deville and Kostelic in the lead separated by .03. Deville, perhaps snake bit after a second run DNF a week ago at Adelboden tried to attack, got back seated and dropped down the finish order. Matt, marking his umpteenth comeback as the final skier of the second run took attack mode early, had some small errors on the steep and lost all the advantage the attack had gained, dropping off the podium as well.
Strategically Kostelic was content to ski solid on top and save his charging for the bottom. He found the section on a sun splashed lower slope where he could attack and posted a huge. 85 winning margin.
"Above did not risk full because the road was very bad," he told Austrian reporters. "Below I have then given the gas. It worked."
It was Swede Andre Myhrer who collected the second step on the podium and young German Fritz Dopfer coming from the 23rd start who got third. Matt finished fourth and Deville sixth behind Felix Neureuther.
Dopfer said his first podium this season at Beaver Creek had convinced him he was fast enough to win on the World Cup. "Today I had the hundredths of luck on my side," he said.
The American action was over after the first run. In frozen hell manner only Bode Miller completed the run and he was too far out to qualify among the top 30 for a second run. Ted Ligety and Nolan Kasper both exited high on the track.
“I did 5 gates,” said Kasper. “Yeah, I inspected it. It looked fine. There were some challenging sections but I definitely didn’t think where I went out today was challenging. I hit a little bump. It’s such a fine line with slalom.”
Will Brandenburg, Jimmy Cochran and Colby Granstrom each made it further than Kasper and Ligety, but all failed to finish the first heat. Canadians Mike Janyk and Brad Spence did make the turn and finished 18th and 20th respectively.
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Slalom, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2012
1 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
2 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/
3 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
4 Matt, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
5 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/
6 Deville, Volkl/Fischer/Marker
7 Gross, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
8 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Myhre, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Byggmark, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
Men's World Cup Slalom, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2012. ... It is the 18th of 45 races on the men's 2012 World Cup schedule with one cancellation (city event Munich). ... It is the sixth of 11 scheduled slaloms. ... the third of five scheduled in the month of January. ... It is the final race of three at the 82nd Lauberhornrennen. ... The 95th World Cup event to be held at least in part at Wengen and the 33rd Cup slalom at the site. ... Ivica Kostelic has won the race three times including the last two seasons.
It is the 22nd career World Cup win for Ivica Kostelic. ... He is nine shy of his sister's Croatian record. ... It is his 14th career Cup slalom win. ... It is his sixth win at Wengen (and second in three days) and his fourth of the season, third in slalom.
It is the 10th career World Cup podium result for Andre Myhrer, all in slalom. ... It is his second at Wengen. ... It is his second podium of the season, both second place finishes behind Kostelic.
It is the second career World Cup podium for Fritz Dopfer both this season and in different disciplines. ... He was third in GS at Beaver Creek Dec. 4.
Mike Janyk matches his 40th best Cup result. ... It is his fifth best at Wengen and his fourth score of the season. ... It is the 12th best of 15 scoring results for Brad Spence. ... his fifth score of the season.
Marcel Hirscher (DSQ 1st) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 725-695 over Kostelic. ... Beat Feuz (did not race) is third at 545. ... Ted Ligety (DNF 1st) is fourth overall with 493pts. ... Bode Miller (DNQ) is sixth with 448pts. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 24th with 172pts. ... Kostelic strengthens his lead in the slalom standings to 485-360 over Hirscher. ... Myhrer is third at 295pts. ... Nolan Kasper (DNF 1st) is top US skier in 17th with 90pts. ... Janyk top Canadian in 20th with 78pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup standings 3065-1875 for Switzerland. ... Italy is third at 1720. ... The US is fifth with 1222 and Canada tenth with 583pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|9||34||421400||MYHRE Lars Elton||1984||NOR||54.09||52.98||1:47.07||8.08|
|22||45||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||55.43||53.01||1:48.44||15.99|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|66||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|50||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|57||501557||PIETILAE HOLMNER Johan||1991||SWE|