Hirscher downs Neureuther and Yuasa for Madonna win
With the Madonna di Campiglio flood lights reflecting off the icy, and steep surface of the Canalone Miramonti slope 76 of the world's fastest slalom skiers did battle Tuesday (Dec. 18). After the first heat there wasn't much doubt the winner was going to come from the final five skiers of the second run. To everyone's surprise, it was the bittersweet result of the fifth starter of the second run, the 26th finisher from the first that put the most pressure on everyone else, damaging himself in the process.
It was Japan's Noaki Yuasa, on Hart skis and reportedly with a herniated disc that put the hurt on the field, - and himself - knifing down the tricky second course for a massive early lead that held up through 24 skiers. He collapsed in the finish area in obvious pain and limped badly as he made his way to the awards ceremony. Felix Neureuther, the second fastest qualifier, finally knocked the injured Japanese racer down the finish order. The German skiing comfortably and smoothly, milked his two second first run margin to the finish and pushed him down the finish order by .61.
Neureuther's conservative run, however, left the door wide open for first course winner Marcel Hirscher, and he pounced on the opportunity.
“Neureuther had an awesome run, I heard it,” said Hirscher, referring to the crowd of thousand's punctuation of the German's run. “I went more than 100 percent, so you know it's maybe tougher to speak as to ski.”
His run was magnificent to behold. It was full of risk as Hirscher charged every gate he could, arcing turns and fighting for time. He wound up adding to his first run margin and took the win by 1.61 seconds. He was the only man who beat Yuasa's second run time.
Neureuther got second and Yuasa third. Defending Cup slalom champ Andre Myhrer was fourth and the top finisher for hosting Italy was Manfred Moelgg in fifth.
The icy piste caused plenty of issues for the racers with five skiers going out in the second run and 24 in the first. Still others struggled mightily and failed to qualify for the second run including highly regarded Stefano Gross, Mario Matt and Jens Byggmark.
The only North American to make a second run was Ted Ligety who continues to show better slalom skiing, finishing ninth.
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup slalom, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, Dec. 18, 2012
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/
3 Yuasa, Hart/Dolomite/Look
4 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/
5 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Vogel, Stoeckli/Nordica/Tyrolia
7 Herbst, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Haugen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
10 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
Men's World Cup slalom, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, Dec. 18, 2012. ... It is the 24th of 73 races on the 2012-13 World Cup schedule. ... the 13th of 36 on the men's schedule. ... And the third of 11 scheduled slaloms, including two city event parallels. ... The next men's slalom is at Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 6. ... It is the 54th Cup race hosted at Madonna, the 34th slalom. ... Madonna hosted a men's slalom in the first year of World Cup competition (1967). ... Madonna has not hosted a Cup race since December of 2005.
It is the 14th career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. ...His seventh in slalom. ... It is his second victory of the season and first in slalom. ... It is his first at Madonna di Campiglio. ... He now has as many Cup slalom wins as Armin Bittner and Finn Christian Jagge. ... It is the third win of the season for Austria. ... second for an Austrian male.
It is the 16th career World Cup podium for Felix Neureuther. ... all save two of them in slalom. ... It is his second slalom podium of the season, both in second place. ... It is the seventh podium of the season for Germany. ... He is one placing better than his father's best at Madonna.
It is the first career World Cup podium for Naoki Yuasa. ... his previous best is fifth scored twice, once at Bansko and once at Schladming. ... He is the fifth Japanese to earn a World Cup podium placing and the first since 2006.
It is the 25th career World Cup slalom top 10 for Ted Ligety. ... it is his best of three slalom scoring results this season. ... Former DU racer Leif Kristiansen Haugen tallied his first career top 10.
Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) holds the lead of the World Cup overall standings 614-560 over Hirscher. ... Ligety is third with 537pts. ... Erik Guay is the top Canadian in 12th with 182pts. ... Hirscher leads the slalom standings 240-200 for Andre Myhrer (fourth in race). ... Ligety is tenth with 71pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 2165-1539 for Italy. ... France is third with 1152pts. ... The US is fifth with 894 and Canada eighth with 384pts.
Madonna di Campiglio (ITA)
FIS World Cup
Dec. 18, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|8||35||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||53.17||52.29||1:45.46||17.90|
|25||44||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||54.12||57.22||1:51.34||53.47|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|70||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|38||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA|