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 . world ski news
15 January 2012 - 15:45
Kostelic nabs slalom victory in Wengen, second of weekend
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ALPINE SKI. WENGEN, Switzerland - Ivica Kostelic loves Wengen and Wengen loves him. He secured his second victory of the weekend here with a time of 1 minute, 45.67 seconds in the slalom to best Sweden's Andre Myhrer finishing second by 0.85 and Germany's Fritz Dopfer, rounding out the podium, by 0.88 seconds.


Ivica Kostelic of Croatia takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

After the first run, Kostelic was behind the leader Mario Matt by a slight 0.03 seconds, and wanted to make up some time in the second run. He decidedly saved his energy early on to charge hard at the end - something he admittedly didn't do last week at Adelboden where he got second in the slalom. Kostelic said last week he played it conservatively on that slope, due to his history of mistakes there.

Not this week.


Mario Matt of Austria during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

“These last few gates are very important here,” he said. “For the second run, I made the tactic to attack the last part... because the race is not over until the last few gates. There is a lot of time to be made on that final section.”

However, Hirscher's early exit only helped the 2011 Overall World Cup Champion. In run No. 1, Hirscher put down a blazing fast time, 0.77 seconds ahead of the leader, Mario Matt. But then moments later, he was disqualified for missing a gate high on the course.

“I felt something but I couldn't feel exactly what happened,” Hirscher said.

Clearly he looked disappointed having been the favorite to win this race - with three consecutive victories, and five total this season - but said disqualifications occur in ski racing, especially in the fast-paced slalom event.

“It happens, what can I say?” he said. “I skied an awesome run. You can see that I was really really fast. I will have to cancel this race out of my mind.”

Even though Hirscher was out, Kostelic said there is something about Wengen that is magical for him. He had the advantage here anyway. This was Kostelic's second victory of the weekend, winning the super combined on Friday. It is also his third consecutive slalom win in Wengen in so many years. Only the great Ingemar Stenmark had ever achieved that prior to Kostelic.


Ivica Kostelic of Croatia during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

“I don't know what to say,” he said, at loss for words after the race. “So many good memories from this hill. I guess I have something with this mountain and no other.”

He said someone had told him today that only Stenmark - one of the greatest slalom and giant slalom skiers of all time - had ever won at Wengen three consecutive years in a row.


Ivica Kostelic of Croatia takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

“For me to be in the same category of Ingemar Stenmark, it's the biggest honor,” he said. “Unlike many other racers or people, I really follow the history of skiing very much and I have a lot of respect for the generations that are gone now. They are legends for me. Our sport gave some great names.”

Mario Matt and Cristian Deville - 1 and 2, respectively - after the first run couldn't keep pace with the speedy second runs of Kostelic, Myhrer, and Dopfer who said they were able to ski consistently down this challenging course.


Andre Myhrer of Sweden takes 2nd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

“It's pretty tough cause there are many bumps [today] - it's just really hard to be really fast here,” Dopfer said. “You have to ski really clean and smooth. For me, it was just a great performance.”

Both skiers have been consistently fast this season; now each have two podiums a piece.


Ivica Kostelic of Croatia takes 1st place, Andre Myhrer of Sweden takes 2nd place, Fritz Dopfer of Germany takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

Kostelic is now only 30 points behind Hirscher in the overall standings with 695 points. Hirscher has 725, and third place belongs to Beat Feuz with 545.

The next slalom is scheduled Jan. 22 in Kitzbuehel at 10:15 am local time.  

By Vanessa Pierce
FISalpine.com
Sunday 15 January 2012

Matt in the lead after slalom run No. 1, Hirscher disqualified

WENGEN, Switzerland - In an astonishing beginning to the slalom here, the leader in the overall World Cup standings, Marcel Hirscher, was disqualified. Skiing in the bib 5 position, he missed a gate unknowingly but continued to the finish. He posted a run time that was .77 seconds faster than Austria's Mario Matt. Hirscher jumped into first place. Moments later he was notified that he had in fact missed a gate and was disqualified.


Mario Matt of Austria during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 15, 2012 in Wengen, Switzerland. (January 14, 2012 - Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

“I felt something but I couldn't feel exactly what happened,” he said. Clearly he looked disappointed but said disqualifications occur in ski racing, especially in the fast-paced slalom event.

“It happens, what can I say?” he said. “I skied an awesome run. You can see that I was really really fast. I will have to cancel this race out of my mind.”

On this frigid day in the Alps (-3 degrees celsius), Twenty skiers did not finish in this tough set course that sent 2011 GS Overall World Cup Champion Ted Ligety, up-and-comer Nolan Kasper, among many others, out of the track. Norway's Lars Elton Myhre was able to survive, skiing from bib 34 into 5th position. “I tried to risk everything and go hard," he said.

It's a tight fight for first, top three are within .03 seconds. The Austrian slalom specialist Mario Matt is the leader going into run No. 2., putting down a time of 53.64 seconds. Italy's Crisitan Deville is .02 seconds back, and Ivica Kostelic, is putting pressure on them in third, just .03 out.

Mario Matt has never won a slalom event in Wengen, though back in 2007 he won the super combined here. If Deville wins, this will be his first career podium. The 2011 Overall World Cup Champion Ivica Kostelic could possibly make this two wins this weekend if he takes top spot this afternoon.

FISalpine.com
Sunday 15 January 2012


 
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Next:
Kummer and Fischnaller victorious in Bad Gastein PSL – 15 January 2012 - 17:07
Kranjec and Bardal win ski flying competitions in Bad Mitterndorf – 15 January 2012 - 18:09
DAKAR 2012: Despres and Peterhansel are the champions! – 16 January 2012 - 09:42
Volkova and Krotov best aerials season opener at Mont Gabriel – 16 January 2012 - 12:00
Double ski cross victory for Switzerland in Les Contamines – 16 January 2012 - 12:01

Previous:
Russian and Sweden teams sprints for victory in Milano – 15 January 2012 - 14:52
Lindsey Vonn super again in Cortina super G – 15 January 2012 - 14:47
Cancellation in Bad Mitterndorf – 14 January 2012 - 18:29
Patrizia Kummer and Andreas Prommegger are Queen and King at JAUerling – 14 January 2012 - 17:41
Feuz takes the downhill win in Wengen – 14 January 2012 - 15:40

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