Ivica Kostelic ended January just as he started it off, though perhaps a bit more dramatically. The Croatian World Cup leader took control of the slalom leg of the Chamonix super combined Jan. 30 to make up a 2.5 second disadvantage for his seventh win of the month.
Teammate Natko Zrncic-Dim gave the small Croatian team a sweep of the top two positions, the first time in the team’s history it has accomplished the feat. Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, looking to get back into the race for the overall Cup title, placed third.
“After the descent (downhill) I was mad,” said Kostelic, “and I knew – and secretly hoped -that I can only succeed if I put everything at stake. And that is exactly what I did. I have not kept any two or three percent (back). I went to the end and it paid off.”
“Natko’s success made it twice as beautiful. My best friend on the podium with me. Together we sang the national anthem.”
With no racers in the top 30 after the first (downhill) leg of the Chamonix combined, the U.S. had dismal chances to score but Will Brandenburg posted a strong slalom run to move to 22nd for the day.
Ben Thomsen gave Canada two points in 29th to avoid a score sheet whiteout.
The win opened up Kostelic’s lead of the overall standings to 475 points and gave him the combined crown.
“In the past I have always missed out because I was ill or injured,” said an elated Kostelic. “This has a lot of significance for me.”
The Croates had four skiers in the points. Dalibor Samsal finished 24th and Tin Siroki 28th.
Italy also had some reason for elation with three skiers in the top 10. Dominik Paris, Paolo Pangrazzi and Christof Innerhofer placed seven-eight-nine respectively.
Kostelic photo by Gepa.
By Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup combined, Chamonix, France, Jan. 30, 2011
1 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
2 Zrncic-Dim, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
4 Jansrud, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Zurbriggen, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
6 Bank, Elan/Nordica/Elan
7 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
8 Pangrazzi, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
9 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Feuz, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
Men’s World Cup super combined, Chamonix, France, Jan. 30, 2011. … It is the 26th event on the men’s 39 event 2011 World Cup schedule. … the 25th held. … It is the third of four scheduled combineds. … It is the 40th World Cup event to be held, at least in part, at Chamonix. … the tenth combined.
It is the 18th career World Cup win for Ivica Kostelic, his fifth in combined. … It is his seven win of the season all coming in the month of January. … and his fourth straight Cup combined win including all three this season and Kitzbuehel 2010. … he was second in the Olympic combined to Bode Miller who did not race at Chamonix. … Kostelic was also second to Miller in the last combined at Chamonix in 2008.
It is a career best World Cup result for Natka Zrncic-Dim but his fourth podium having placed third in three previous combineds, the last at Beaver Creek Dec. 4, 2009. … It is the first two place sweep of a World Cup race by Croatia.
It is the 35th career World Cup podium result for Aksel Lund Svindal. … his sixth in combined. … It is his sixth podium of the season and second this season in combined having placed third at Wengen. … He has placed fifth (2004) and 16th (2006) in previous combineds at Chamonix.
It is a career best result, and second of his career, for Will Brandenburg, the other a 24th place in slalom at Adelboden earlier this season (Jan. 9). … It is the third career World Cup scoring result for Ben Thomsen, all coming this season, the other two in DH.
Kostelic leads the World Cup overall standings 1178-703 over Silvan Zurbriggen (fifth in race). … Didier Cuche (did not race) is third overall with 673pts. … Ted Ligety (did not race) is the top American in 10th with 434pts. … Erik Guay (did not race) the top Canadian in 32nd place with 157pts. … Kostelic leads the combined standings 300-143 over Zurbriggen and with one event remaining cannot be beaten for the title. … Kjetil Jansrud (4th in race) is third in combined with 132pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup standings 3894-2770 over Switzerland. … Italy is third with 2138pts. … The U.S. is eighth with 1000pts and Canada ninth with 887pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|3||20||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||2:00.05||57.60||2:57.65||3.38|
|17||23||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||2:03.09||57.02||3:00.11||19.08|
|18||6||421400||MYHRE Lars Elton||1984||NOR||2:03.08||57.24||3:00.32||20.42|
|36||47||60159||VAN BUYNDER Frederik||1988||BEL||2:07.13||1:16.50||3:23.63||169.13|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|44||20267||ESTEVE RIGAIL Kevin||1989||AND|
|Did not finish 1st run|