Hirscher gets Snow Queen win in Zagreb
Marcel Hirscher took the Snow Queen slalom at Zagreb for the second straight year, but not without a challenge from Jens Byggmark. As it turned out Byggmark took himself out with a mistake filled second run and Hirscher got the win by a half a second. “Winning isn't everything,” Byggmark tweeted, “just 99.9 percent.” His second run dropped him nearly off the bottom of the result list and he finished 26th.
Sweden still got second place from Andre Myhrer, .57 behind Hirscher while Mario Matt was third for a significant placing.
With snow and rain alternating at the Crveni Spust and fog rolling on and off the course conditions were far from ideal, but the crowd was, as usual, enjoying the festivities. Hirscher said the course was “brutal,” adding, “I realized if I want to have a chance then I have to give full throttle. ... It was a pretty crazy ride today. The people here have such a pleasure with the skiing."
He gave it all he had, but he was not the fastest skier of the second run, that honor went to the French with Thomas Mermillod Blondin, the 17th finisher, taking advantage of a clean track with the third start. Truth be known the run of another Frenchman, Steve Missillier was better than Hirscher's time as well and gave him a top 10 finish in ninth. But Hirscher's run came with the softening track rutted and nasty and frankly, he toasted all who started near him, save, perhaps, Myhrer.
Matt, at 33, is fighting for a spot on Austria's World Championship team and said one first run error, where a gate hit his boot and threw him off balance. He was not surprised, however, to have finished on the podium. “Over Christmas I've tested well. In training I was there with Marcel. With two flawless runs I can ride in the front.”
Dave Chodounsky led the Americans with a sixth fastest second run and a finish of 18th. He had managed 26th in the first run, no small feat considering the soft snow and ruts.
The day belonged to Hirscher, and he did his best to share that with his hosts. “I love coming to Zagreb, the atmosphere here is always amazing and it’s a pleasure to ski in front of so many people. Thank you for being such an amazing crowd," he said. "Last year Zagreb was a challenging race, because of all that went on with Ivica but this year I really felt loved by the crowd and both days I was here I really felt welcomed and I would like to thank everyone for that.”
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup slalom, Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 6, 2013
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
3 Matt, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
4 Gross, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
5 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
6 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Missliiler, Dynastar/Lange/Look
10 Thaler, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
Men's World Cup slalom, Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 6, 2013. ... It is the 34th race of the 2012-13 World Cup season. ... the 16th of 36 on the men's schedule. ... and the fourth of nine scheduled men's slaloms. ... It is the 15th Cup race hosted at Zagreb, the sixth for men.
It is the 15th career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. ... his eighth in slalom. ... It is his third win of the season (2nd in slalom) and his ninth podium. ... He has not missed the podium in any race he has completed. ... It is his second win at Zagreb having also won one year and one day ago.
It is the 16th career World Cup podium for Andre Myhrer. ... 15th in slalom (and one city event). ... It is his second podium of the season having won the slalom opener at Levi. ... He has placd fourth three times this season. ... It is his second podium at Zagreb having won the race in 2011.
It is the 37th career World Cup podium for Mario Matt. ... his first of the season. ... He won at Zagreb Feb. 17, 2008. ... He is the third ranked Austrian slalom winner of all time behind two active racers, Marlies Schild and Benjamin Raich.
It is the second best career Cup result for David Chodounsky. ... and his second score at Zagreb. ... His only better finish is 15th at Val d'Isere, also in slalom, earlier this season.
Hirscher leads the men's World Cup overall standings 740-689 over Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race). ... Ted Ligety (DNF 1st) is third with 552pts. ... Top Canadian is Erik Guay (did not race) in 18th with 189pts. ... Hirscher leads the slalom standings 420-341 over Felix Neureuther (fifth in race). ... Myhrer is third with 330pts. ... Ligety is top American in 13th with 86pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 2682-1892 over Italy. ... France is third with 1433pts. ... The US is fifth with 963 and Canada eighth with 434.
FIS World Cup
Jan. 6, 2013
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|17||43||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||1:01.74||57.36||1:59.10||15.64|
|23||38||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA||1:01.74||57.71||1:59.45||17.51|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|67||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|35||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|
|31||421400||MYHRE Lars Elton||1984||NOR|