Alpine

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — It would have been hard to imagine a more ideal day for a ski race on Monday as the men took on the World Championship alpine combined in St. Moritz. Sunshine and warm weather arrived after a fog-plagued few days of speed and provided a breathtaking backdrop for the third men’s race of the championships. The Swiss faithful were once again treated to a home gold medal as Luca Aerni powered his way to the win with a combined time of 2:26.33 seconds. Defending World Champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was the slimmest possible margin behind, 0.01 seconds, for the silver. Aerni’s compatriot Mauro Caviezel landed in third, 0.06 seconds off the pace.

The morning’s downhill run saw Austrian Romed Baumann set the pace with Aerni and Hirscher sitting 2.61 and 2.30 seconds back in 30th and 28th, respectively. Temperatures warmed before the slalom portion and allowed Aerni to take advantage of being the first racer on course and hold the lead for the remainder of the race and walk away with his first World Championship title. Hirscher actually led Aerni at the final interval by 0.44 seconds, but Aerni managed to squeak past the Austrian superstar thanks to an impressive final section. Caviezel also surprised many with his slalom skills in the deteriorating conditions, clocking the third-fastest time on the run and giving the Swiss their sixth medal of the championships.

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND Ð FEBRUARY 13: Luca Aerni of Switzerland wins the gold medal during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Men's Alpine Combined on February 13, 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Photo by Hans Bezard/Agence Zoom)

Photo by Hans Bezard/Agence Zoom

It was a nerve-wracking wait for Aerni after his downhill run as many racers from the back of the pack were bumping out slalom skier after slalom skier from the flip-30. The 23-year-old Swiss admitted that if one more racer came down and bested his downhill time, there would have been no chance for him to medal, much less win.

“It’s amazing,” Aerni said after the race. “I didn’t expect this this morning, so I am very happy. I think if I started thirty-one, I have no chance, so I was waiting a lot after the downhill to really know that I can start first.”

Although Hirscher had to settle for second place for the tenth time this season, the living legend was happy with a silver medal after battling through a couple days of sickness.

“After two days lying in bed, it is pretty impressive to myself that I am on the podium in this super combined,” he said. “And for sure, downhill was a very big challenge for a slalom skier, but on the other hand it was a lot of fun to do these jumps, to improve yourself, to learn a little more about downhill, and many of you know, this was already my tenth second place so far this season and always very close decisions, so it was a little bit nerve-wracking if you see crossing the finish line one hundredth of a second behind. And I exactly knew the conditions will play in our hands because the conditions were really soft already with the first number, so we knew it can be our day.”

Caviezel even surprised himself with his performance, especially in the slalom portion, since he knew that many very good slalom skiers were running before him in the second run.

“It feels very good,” the Swiss athlete said. “I couldn’t expect it after the downhill, so I’m just glad and really, really happy today. The difficult thing was the slalom because of the conditions and I’m not a slalom specialist. I knew that I had to go all in and now I’m really happy that it happened.”

BENNETT BryceIt was a step in the right direction for the Americans as Bryce Bennett led the pack in 11th with two solid performances in the downhill and slalom portions. Brennan Rubie followed in 15th as Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Jared Goldberg finished in 19th and 21st, respectively.

“For me, personally, I think I could have closed the gap a little bit more in downhill,” explained Bennett. “Next time, when a situation like this arises, I can figure it out. In the slalom, they tried to inject last night, which was a questionable call because it didn’t settle deep enough so there was a thin layer of ice and it chunked through.”

Rubie was just happy to be a part of the experience.

“Since I’m not a downhill skier or a slalom skier, I don’t think I have a lot of perspective on exactly what was what,” admitted Rubie. “I was happy to get down to the finish in both runs and had a lot of fun.”

The team event is next on the schedule in St. Mortiz for Tuesday, Feb. 14.


Top 10

1. Luca Aerni (SUI) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3. Mauro Caviezel (SUI) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6. Justin Murisier (SUI) – Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker
7. Carlo Janka (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
8. Vincent Kreichmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
10. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head/Head/Head


Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  6  511983 AERNI Luca 1993 SUI  1:41.86  44.47  2:26.33  0.00
 2  11  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:41.55  44.79  2:26.34  +0.01  0.08
 3  1  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:40.30  46.09  2:26.39  +0.06  0.47
 4  19  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:39.94  46.79  2:26.73  +0.40  3.14
 4  15  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:40.63  46.10  2:26.73  +0.40  3.14
 6  7  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI  1:40.43  46.39  2:26.82  +0.49  3.85
 7  4  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:39.93  47.08  2:27.01  +0.68  5.34
 8  14  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:40.12  46.96  2:27.08  +0.75  5.89
 9  16  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:39.37  47.73  2:27.10  +0.77  6.05
 10  9  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:40.71  46.48  2:27.19  +0.86  6.76
 11  2  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:40.51  46.82  2:27.33  +1.00  7.86
 12  3  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:39.25  48.20  2:27.45  +1.12  8.80
 13  20  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:39.57  47.93  2:27.50  +1.17  9.19
 14  21  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:39.57  47.96  2:27.53  +1.20  9.43
 15  24  934568 RUBIE Brennan 1991 USA  1:41.47  46.19  2:27.66  +1.33  10.45
 16  30  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR  1:41.49  46.20  2:27.69  +1.36  10.69
 17  8  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:40.07  47.85  2:27.92  +1.59  12.50
 18  31  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS  1:41.66  46.49  2:28.15  +1.82  14.30
 19  22  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  1:41.04  47.56  2:28.60  +2.27  17.84
 20  13  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:42.08  46.63  2:28.71  +2.38  18.70
 21  28  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:40.08  48.75  2:28.83  +2.50  19.65
 22  18  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:40.95  48.08  2:29.03  +2.70  21.22
 23  33  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:39.92  49.33  2:29.25  +2.92  22.95
 23  29  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  1:42.41  46.84  2:29.25  +2.92  22.95
 25  37  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:39.95  49.43  2:29.38  +3.05  23.97
 26  44  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  1:40.99  48.42  2:29.41  +3.08  24.21
 27  53  20398 VERDU Joan 1995 AND  1:41.47  48.25  2:29.72  +3.39  26.64
 28  27  561322 HADALIN Stefan 1995 SLO  1:43.25  46.93  2:30.18  +3.85  30.26
 29  25  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  1:42.57  47.64  2:30.21  +3.88  30.49
 30  42  430429 BYDLINSKI Maciej 1988 POL  1:41.92  49.16  2:31.08  +4.75  37.33
 31  38  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:40.99  50.11  2:31.10  +4.77  37.49
 32  32  150743 BERNDT Ondrej 1988 CZE  1:42.95  48.26  2:31.21  +4.88  38.35
 33  41  481730 KUZNETSOV Ivan 1996 RUS  1:42.43  48.81  2:31.24  +4.91  38.59
 34  43  350095 PFIFFNER Marco 1994 LIE  1:42.75  48.69  2:31.44  +5.11  40.16
 35  51  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG  1:43.50  48.96  2:32.46  +6.13  48.18
 36  35  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB  1:42.29  50.85  2:33.14  +6.81  53.52
 37  40  20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND  1:42.15  51.56  2:33.71  +7.38  58.00
 38  47  151238 ZABYSTRAN Jan 1998 CZE  1:43.93  49.97  2:33.90  +7.57  59.49
 39  45  151215 FOREJTEK Filip 1997 CZE  1:43.98  50.30  2:34.28  +7.95  62.48
 40  50  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  1:43.84  51.75  2:35.59  +9.26  72.77
 41  57  670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor 1987 KAZ  1:43.96  51.83  2:35.79  +9.46  74.35
 42  54  310421 STEVOVIC Marko 1996 SRB  1:44.99  50.94  2:35.93  +9.60  75.45
 43  56  240139 KEKESI Marton 1995 HUN  1:46.88  50.41  2:37.29  +10.96  86.13
 44  48  110383 VON APPEN Sven 1997 CHI  1:45.58  52.33  2:37.91  +11.58  91.01
 45  58  942023 TAHIRI Albin 1989 KOS  1:45.28  53.22  2:38.50  +12.17  95.64
Did not start 2nd run
 17  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR
 12  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK
Did not start 1st run
 59  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU
 49  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL
 39  502004 KOELL Alexander 1990 SWE
Did not finish 2nd run
 55  700878 BENDIK Martin 1993 SVK
 52  110409 HORWITZ Kai 1998 CHI
 46  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE
 36  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO
 34  54320 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT
 26  380335 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO
 23  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA
 5  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA
Did not finish 1st run
 10  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA

 

 

Article Tags: Alpine , Top Rotator , Top Story
Sean Higgins
Associate Editor
-
A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to SkiRacing.com, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.

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