The very best at anything make the execution of their craft look effortless. There was nothing effortless about the World Cup slalom race at Adelboden, Switzerland Sunday (Jan. 12). Marcel Hirscher’s skiing on the final, brutal steep pitch into the stadium did not appear particularly fast. Like many before him, he appeared to struggle with the transition from the flat above onto the pitch. But when he crossed the finish timing beam, what had been a slight deficit above the steep had turned into a significant margin of victory at .29 of a second.
With little visible emotion, Hirscher had created a turning point in the season, gaining his fourth win, reclaiming the lead in both the World Cup slalom and overall standings. He calmly thanked the race organizers for the massive effort involved in keeping a reasonable race surface in 50 degree temperatures and went about the business inherent in winning World Cup races, posing for photographs, meeting with reporters and drug testing. All rather matter of fact.
As hard as the organizers worked, the conditions were not good. It was a nice enough day with the sun shining and that delicious warmth. But despite chemicals, the race surface could not hold up and continued to deteriorate with each passing skier, particularly on the very steep final pitch.
There was little doubt from the beginning of the second run that the race was going to be won, and lost for that matter, on that pitch. There was no grip for the skis and ruts conspired to bounce racers out of the track.
Slalom tour leader Mario Matt and Ted Ligety among them, many never got to the final exam. But any that managed control down the face leapt into the discussion of winning.
Among the first of the afternoon to show poise on the steep was Italian Patrick Thaler, amassing a huge .94 of a second margin that held up for the next 11 starters. His first run, however, was too weak to hope for much beyond the sixth he ended up in.
Henrik Kristoffersen, the 19-year-old Norwegian, capped off a stunning weekend in which he narrowly avoided a collision with an errant skier on Saturday in the GS with a podium placing Sunday, the second of his young career.
Swede Andre Myhrer charged, but starting just ahead of Hirscher, he didn’t have enough time to get into the leader’s box before he was bumped to second.
It was another solid day for David Chodounsky who used fundamental skills in the soft, chemically-altered snow to finish eighth, his second best slalom result ever and his second top 10 in slalom earned at Adelboden.
“It was tough,” he said. “The snow is not great and it’s warm so it ruts up. And then, when the sun starts to go down it gets difficult to see. Still, I made a couple of mistakes. If I can clean that up it would be really good. I’m happy. I skied solid.”
In the end, Hirscher summed it up well. “This is an awesome place to ski.”
View more photos from this race in our gallery.
Men’s World Cup slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 12, 2014
Equipment – Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Larsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Men’s World Cup Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 12, 2014. … It is the 16th of 34 races on the men’s schedule. … the fourth of nine slaloms. … It is the 56th World Cup race hosted by Adelboden and the 12th slalom.
It is the 22nd career World Cup victory for Marcel Hirscher. … his 12th in slalom. … It is his fourth win of the season and his fourth career win at Adelboden, one shy of the record five held by Ingemar Stenmark.
It is the 18th career World Cup podium for Andre Myhrer. … his 16th in slalom. … It is his first Adelboden podium and his first of the season.
It is the second career World Cup podium for Henrik Kristoffersen, the previous also a third in slalom, scored at Levi Nov. 17.
It is the fourth career World Cup top 10 for David Chodounsky… his second best slalom result after a seventh at Val d’Isere Dec, 15. … It is his second top 10 at Adelboden having placed tenth in slalom a year and a day prior. … Brad Spence matches his 15th best World Cup finish. … It is his first score of the season.
Marcel Hirscher regains the lead of the World Cup Overall standings 675-652 over Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race). … Ted Ligety (DNF in race) is third with 333pts. … Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in eighth with 261pts. … Hirscher also regains the lead of the slalsom standings 280-220 over Mattias Hargin. … former leader Mario Matt slips to third with 200pts. … David Chodounsky is top American in 13th with 84pts. … Michael Janyk is top Canadian in 31st with 21pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 2585-1734 over France. … Italy is third with 1579pts. … The US is fifth with 898pts and Canada ninth with 663pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|76||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|53||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|28||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|