There’s some young blood on the World Cup men’s circuit, and a trio of slalom hotshots made that crisply clear Sunday under crisply blue skies in the finale at Birds of Prey.
    Sweden’s Andre Myhrer had a wild but super-fast first run and held on in the second run for his first career victory. American Ted Ligety, second after the first run, did not finish the second run, and Bode Miller was a DNF in run one.
    Myhrer, 23, edged Canadian Michael Janyk, age 24, and German Felix Neureuther, 22.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado — There’s some young blood on the World Cup men’s circuit, and a trio of slalom hotshots made that crisply clear Sunday under crisply blue skies in the finale at Birds of Prey.
    Sweden’s Andre Myhrer had a wild but super-fast first run and held on in the second run for his first career victory. American Ted Ligety, second after the first run, did not finish the second run, and Bode Miller was a DNF in run one.
    Myhrer, 23, edged Canadian Michael Janyk, age 24, and German Felix Neureuther, 22. His winning two-run time was 1 minute, 48.60 seconds, .73 better than Janyk and 1.40 ahead of the German.
    Myhrer had two previous World Cup podiums, in 2005 slaloms in Schladming and Kranjska Gora. In December 2004, he was fifth in a slalom on Birds of Prey. In the first run, Myhrer smoked a field of 70 racers with a time of 52.59 seconds. Germany’s Alois Vogl pushed into second, a whopping .57 back, but was later disqualified for straddling a gate, boosting Ligety into second. But a third of the way into his second run, Ligety hooked a ski and couldn’t stay on course.
    “It was a big lead, but you can’t throw on the hand brake and slide out so you have to go for it,” Myhrer said. “I took it a little bit easier in the hard parts and then I tried to push it in the easy parts.”
    Slalom stars Benni Raich of Austria and Giorgio Rocca of Italy did not survive the first run.
    Janyk had never before reached the podium. At two previous Beaver Creek slaloms, he was a DNF (2005) and did not qualify for second run (2004). His previous career best was a fourth in slalom at Shigakogen, Japan, on March 10, 2006. Canada also had Thomas Grandi in a tie for fifth Sunday.
    “I have all my friends here, 13 of them came down. And they’re all in the stands, so to do it in front of them, my mom’s here, my sister’s here. It’s just unbelievable,” said Janyk, who hails from Whistler and is one of the more colorful characters on the circuit.
    Janyk sported a Canadian cowboy hat in the finish area, and his smile might have spanned from Quebec City to Vancouver. As for that smile? “I don’t think it’s coming off anytime soon," he beamed.
    Last week, Janyk won a NorAm slalom at Keystone, an hour east of Beaver Creek. “I think it is just building confidence," he said. "I knew I was skiing well and just to get down with that just kept building the confidence toward this. It’s a great day. I can’t put it into words.”
    It was the fifth top 10 but first podium for Neureuther. His previous best was sixth in the 2004 Birds of Prey slalom. He is the son of 1976 Olympics triple medalist Rosi Mittermaier and slalom champion Christian Neureuther.
    “The first thing I will do is call my grandfather [who turns 95 today],” Neureuther said. Asked if he was nervous the news would give his grandfather a heart attack, he said, “No, I’m just a little afraid he will drink too much tonight.”
    Three years ago, Neureuther suffered from a heart infection from training too hard. “I was out for like three and half months and I had to take really hard medicine. But now it’s really good and there’s no problem,” the cheerful German said.
    When might win No. 1 come for Neureuther? “I don’t know. I really don’t,” he said. “Maybe when everybody’s skiing out and I will make a safety run I will win.”
    Raich hooked the second gate in and was done immediately, cementing a dismal week here for the defending World Cup overall champion. The Austrians had never failed to win a race during a Birds of Prey tour stop since the circuit began coming here in 1997. That streak ended Sunday. Raich was a DNF in the slalom portion of the combined Thursday, did not race in Friday’s downhill, and placed 11th in the GS.
    “This is a thing that shouldn’t happen but sometimes it just does," Raich said. "A similar thing happened in Wengen [Switzerland] last season, but I think I missed the third or fourth gate. Today it was only the second.”
    Defending World Cup slalom champion Rocca also straddled, though he got a little further down the course.
    “I was going from ice to snow and my skis gripped the snow,” said Rocca, who is returning from a knee injury. “I jerked forward and my ski hit the pole and then I was out."
    Miller, winner of Friday’s downhill, continued to struggle in the most technical discipline. The last time Miller finished a slalom was in January in Kitzbühel, Austria, where he finished 18th. Miller has not won a slalom since Dec. 13, 2004, in Sestriere, Italy.
    Some of the young Americans failed to qualify for the second run. Tom Rothrock, Roger Brown, Jake Zamansky and Tim Kelley did not finish run No. 1.
    U.S. head men’s coach Phil McNichol shook his head, noting, “Maybe we used up our good fortune earlier in the week, but it was a disappointing end to another outstanding week in Beaver Creek. We get these great crowds — and another one today — and these awesome snow conditions … and then sometimes slalom just leaves me pulling my hair out.
    “But we focus on the positive, and this definitely was another great trip to Beaver Creek. We have some really good momentum now — our first win, our first podiums of the season [Miller winning downhill with Steve Nyman third, and Ligety third in GS] — and we want to keep it rolling,” McNichol said.
    The next men’s race is a super combined next Sunday at Reiteralm, Austria. The race — which will match a super G (instead of a downhill) with a one-run slalom — has been moved from Val d’Isere, France, because of poor snow conditions.

— SR's Sam Flickinger, Hilary Lund and Hank McKee contributed to this report

 
THE SCOOP

By Hank McKee

Equipment

Men’s Slalom, Beaver Creek, Dec. 3, 2006
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
2 Janyk, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Neureuther, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Albrecht, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Byggmark, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Grandi, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Anselmet, Dynastar/Lange/Look
7 Pranger, Volkl/Lang/Marker
9 Lahdenperae, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Gini, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker

Men’s slalom, Beaver Creek Colo., Dec. 3, 2006. … It is seventh r
ace of the men’s 38 event 2007 World Cup schedule. … It is the second of 10 scheduled slaloms. … It is the final race of a four race set at Beaver Creek.
    It is the first career win for Andre Myhrer. … He is 23 from Ostersund. … He owns two previous slalom podiums, a second from Kranjska Gora Feb 27, 2005 and a third from Schladming, Jan. 24, 2006. … He finished fourth in the Olympic slalom at Sestriere. … And was fifth in the 2005 World Championship slalom. … It is the 89th slalom win for Sweden, but he is just the 11th Swede to win.
    It is the first career podium for Michael Janyk. … His previous best had been a fourth at Shigakogen, Japan, March 10, 2006. … He has just 13 career World Cup scoring results. In his last three completed races he has finished 4th (Shigakogen), 7th (Levi Nov. 12) and second here. … He leads the slalom standings. … No Canadian has ever won a World Cup slalom title.
    It is the first career podium for Felix Neureuther. … His previous best had been sixth in slalom at Beaver Creek Dec. 5, 2004. … Three of his best six results have come at Beaver Creek.
   
Fifth matches the 11th best career result for Thomas Grandi. … He had never placed fifth or higher and been beaten by a teammate. … It is the first career World Cup scoring result for Paul Stutz. … It is the ninth scoring result for James Cochran and his third this week.
   
Aksel Lund Svindal (17th in race) leads the overall World Cup standings 235-204 over Didier Cuche (did not race). … Bode Miller remains the top American in sixth place with 142 points. … Janyk leads the slalom standings 116-100 over both Benjamin Raich (a first run DNF) and Myhrer. … Winning margin was .73 of a second. … Third place was 1.40 out. … Fifth place was more than two seconds back.


Beaver Creek men's World Cup slalom results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  9  501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE   52.59  56.01  1:48.60  0.00
 2  16  102435 JANYK Michael  1982  CAN   53.61  55.72  1:49.33  4.10
 3  17  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix  1984  GER   53.45  56.55  1:50.00  7.86
 4  26  510993 ALBRECHT Daniel  1983  SUI   54.25  56.12  1:50.37  9.94
 5  35  501101 BYGGMARK Jens  1985  SWE   54.16  56.49  1:50.65  11.51
 5  4  100115 GRANDI Thomas  1972  CAN   54.10  56.55  1:50.65  11.51
 7  42  191640 ANSELMET Alexandre  1980  FRA   55.23  55.47  1:50.70  11.80
 7  19  50624 PRANGER Manfred  1978  AUT   53.49  57.21  1:50.70  11.80
 9  39  501116 LAHDENPERAE Anton  1985  SWE   54.66  56.18  1:50.84  12.58
 10  40  511127 GINI Marc  1984  SUI   54.84  56.02  1:50.86  12.69
 11  25  291145 DEVILLE Cristian  1981  ITA   54.95  56.01  1:50.96  13.26
 12  6  180251 PALANDER Kalle  1977  FIN   53.90  57.10  1:51.00  13.48
 13  34  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste  1984  FRA   54.78  56.25  1:51.03  13.65
 14  8  50707 MATT Mario  1979  AUT   54.08  56.99  1:51.07  13.87
 15  24  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan  1981  SUI   54.09  57.08  1:51.17  14.44
 16  28  50997 OMMINGER Andreas  1983  AUT   54.64  56.71  1:51.35  15.45
 17  15  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR   54.29  57.16  1:51.45  16.01
 18  33  420148 KARLSEN Truls Ove  1975  NOR   54.66  57.28  1:51.94  18.76
 19  54  150594 TREJBAL Filip  1985  CZE   54.82  57.44  1:52.26  20.56
 20  43  102727 STUTZ Paul  1983  CAN   55.18  57.26  1:52.44  21.57
 21  46  560425 VAJDIC Bernard  1980  SLO   54.69  57.84  1:52.53  22.07
 22  29  534040 COCHRAN Jimmy  1981  USA   55.23  58.06  1:53.29  26.34

 

Did not start 1st run

FILL Peter (ITA)

Did not finish 1st run :

SIMONCELLI Davide (ITA), RAJALA Jukka (FIN), GORZA Ales (SLO), LEINO Jukka (FIN), KELLEY Tim (USA), SPORN Andrej (SLO), KOGLER Stefan (GER), BERTHOD Marc (SUI), ROY Jean-Philippe (CAN), ZAMANSKY Jake (USA), BROWN Roger G P (USA), ENGL Kurt (AUT), MYHRE Lars Elton (NOR), BAXTER Noel (GBR), KOLL Alexander (AUT), BANK Ondrej (CZE), ROTHROCK Tom (USA), BIGGS Patrick (CAN), MISSILLIER Steve (FRA), BAUMANN Romed (AUT), VALENCIC Mitja (SLO), DREIER Christoph (AUT), HARGIN Mattias (SWE), MILLER Bode (USA), BURAAS Hans-Petter (NOR), HANSSON Martin (SWE), SASAKI Akira (JPN), MINAGAWA Kentaro (JPN), RAICH Benjamin (AUT), ROCCA Giorgio (ITA), LARSSON Markus (SWE)

Did not finish 2nd run :

SEMPLE Ryan (CAN), DRAGSIC Mitja (SLO), THALER Patrick (ITA), BOURGEAT Pierrick (FRA), SCHOENFELDER Rainer (AUT), KOSTELIC Ivica (CRO), TISSOT Stephane (FRA), LIGETY Ted (USA)

Disqualified 1st run :

YUASA Naoki (JPN), VOGL Alois (GER)

Did not qualify 1st run :

ZRNCIC-DIM Natko (CRO), IMBODEN Urs (MDA), GRUBELNIK Drago (SLO), LLORACH Gaetan (FRA), MOELGG Manfred (ITA), BROLENIUS Johan (SWE)

 

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