Myhrer wins final race, Hirscher claims sixth overall title
ASPEN, Colo. — It was a case of deja vu in sunny Aspen for the final men’s slalom — and the final race — of the 2016-2017 World Cup season as Sweden’s Andre Myhrer managed to repeat his season-ending win at the 2016 Finals from St. Moritz, Switzerland. The tall Swede took the race with a combined time of 1:27.97 seconds, 0.14 seconds ahead of German veteran Felix Neureuther and 0.15 seconds ahead of Austria’s Michael Matt.
Due to the warm temperatures, it was a tall order for course crews to keep the track in acceptable shape for both runs. In the first run, Marcel Hirscher set the pace with his trademark skiing, while Myhrer managed to match the Austrian turn for turn, finishing just 0.08 seconds back in second. Matt sat in fourth, 0.37 seconds back and Neureuther in sixth, 0.53 seconds out, in the tightly packed top of the standings.
Second run saw even more salt being thrown on the hill in order to harden the surface. Predictably, early racers were able to take advantage of a clean course and make significant jumps in the standings. Great Britain’s Dave Ryding sat in 20th place after the first run and jumped all the way up to eighth by virtue of the second fastest second run time. Neureuther managed to keep his composure during his run and slide into the lead by a comfortable margin and dared the rest of the field to challenge his time.
Matt looked to be on his way to the leader’s box until an ill-timed error saw the Austrian slip back into second place, only 0.01 seconds behind Neureuther. After the next racers could not challenge for the lead, Myhrer used his long frame to navigate the soft ruts with power and grace and was able to take the lead with only Hirscher left in the gate. The Austrian legend built on his advantage at the top of the course and looked to be well on his way to finishing his season with a win before letting it slip through his fingers in the final gates, moving into fourth and giving Myhrer the win.
Myhrer has struggled this season with back problems and has not been on a World Cup podium since his win at Finals one year ago. At the end of a long season, the Swede is ready for some much deserved R&R after some spring ski testing.
“The course was, of course, tough in the second run, but it held up good,” Myhrer explained. “You have to stay in the track on a day like this to really get the speed going. I had a good feeling from first run to second run and was a little bit nervous at the start, but I tried to charge it and managed to go out with a win, so I’m really happy about that; it’s been a tough season for me and it’s nice to end it this way and get some motivation for next season.”
Hirscher, despite missing the podium in the final race, captured his fourth career slalom globe and an unprecedented sixth consecutive overall title on Sunday. After such a stellar season, the Austrian admitted that after so much success this season, anything less will be a disappointment. He promised to work hard to stay at the level he is at for as long as he can.
“It is amazing,” he said after the race. “You know, we are often thinking about it – how many years it will be possible to ski on this high level – but at the moment it’s a lot of fun. I’m hoping (to stay at this level) because otherwise then it’s better to stop at the moment. But anyway, it will be a challenging summer for me and for the whole team to be in shape for next season.”
Sunday’s race wraps up the 2016-2017 World Cup season.
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- Andre Myhrer (SWE) – Head / Head / Head
- Felix Neureuther (GER) – Nordica / Nordica / Marker
- Michael Matt (AUT) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
- Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Manfred Moelgg (ITA) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Mattias Hargin (SWE) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Alexander Khoroshilov (RUS) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Dave Ryding (GBR) –Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Stefano Gross (ITA) – Volkl / Dalbello / Marker
- Luca Aerni (SUI) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|23||23||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||50.39||44.58||1:34.97||+7.00||57.29|
|Did not finish 1st run|