Hirscher victorious at World Cup slalom with scintillating second run
By Graha Dunbar ,APADELBODEN, Switzerland -- Marcel Hirscher turned in an amazing second run to win a World Cup slalom on Sunday, after being eighth-fastest in the opening leg.
January 15, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
Hirscher, the overall World Cup leader, was at least 0.83 seconds faster than any rival in the afternoon to build a 0.30 winning margin over Austrian teammate Mario Matt.
“It was a lucky run,” said Hirscher, who has won three slaloms this season. “After the first run I decided to go all in, and it's a 50-50 chance to straddle (a gate) or ski out.”
First-run leader Manfred Moelgg of Italy was third, trailing 0.62 behind Hirscher's combined two-run time of 1 minute 51.75 seconds.
Hirscher got 100 World Cup points, extending his lead in the standings to 126 over Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, who did not race Sunday.
Ted Ligety, of the United States, remains third overall after finishing 11th, 2.44 behind Hirscher. The American, who won Saturday's giant slalom, has 179 points to make up on the defending champion midway through the season.
“Eleventh place isn't my goal, that's for sure,” said Ligety. “In order to really make everything meaningful, in slalom I need to be doing a lot better in order to make an impact in the overall.”
Still, teammate David Chodounsky made an impact of his own by placing 10th for his best World Cup result in an injury-hit career at age 28.
Only Hirscher was faster second time down than Chodounsky, who had been 20th fastest in the morning. His previous best was 15th last month at Val d'Isere, France.
“I ripped and it just felt good,” said Chodounsky said. “I had a good first run. It was nice and solid and I just basically got comfortable with the hill and snow conditions.”
Hirscher was simply unbeatable in the second run and joined Ligety as the only racers to win four events this season.
“I was not so amused about the eighth place,” said Hirscher, who typically leads going into the second run. “Today it was special and, for me, it was a new situation.”
He leads the slalom standings by 134 from Felix Neureuther, of Germany, who was fifth.
The 23-year-old Austrian's 16th career World Cup victory was his ninth in slalom and second straight at Adelboden. It added to Hirscher's wins in night events last Sunday at Zagreb and last month at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
The light was also a factor Sunday as morning sunshine was lost behind clouds and the surrounding mountains, giving the first-run leaders the toughest conditions.
Chodounsky made the most of his opportunity with impressive skiing that kept him in the leader's box, and the full glare of television cameras, as the next nine racers came down.