Myhrer edges Hirscher for Levi slalom win
We got another one, just like the other one. Just as last season ended up, the foggy and damp Levi slalom wound up to be a two man race with Sweden coming out the decided winner with defending slalom champion Andre Myhrer edging last season's slalom runner-up Marcel Hirscher by less than a tenth of a second (.06). In third was a second Swede, Jens Byggmark a full .61 behind.
The top two had sat in the same position after the first run and though Hirscher's exquisite run was enough to take a comfortable lead, that lead only lasted about a minute. Myhrer matched the Austrian's clinic like performance turn for turn. The big Swede skied with dynamic confidence appearing light on his feet around the toughest of the gates on the Levi Black course.
He said the second run course conditions as the 30th starter were a bit more difficult than those he had conquered in the first as the seventh starter. “It was a little tougher than the first run, but there was still a possibility to ski good. I think I managed pretty good. ... It was an amazingly tough race. I knew I had to do a good second run and I just went for it.”
Hirscher says his Austrian fans expect him to win after his successes of last season, but he was plenty pleased with second in Levi.
“This year I definitely started better then last year, now I just have to hope that the rest of the season will be the same as last year. Seems that not that much has changed over the summer, but I was a bit scared of the young guns. Some of them today were amazing and they are really fast. It’s good to go home with a good gift for Santa Claus, I’ve competed here five times so far and a 26th place was my best result – today’s second place was definitely an improvement.”
There wasn't a lot of holding back going on by much of anybody. Byggmark had tallied six slalom podiums through the 2007 and 2008 seasons but hadn't been better than fifth last season and needed a magnificent recovery just to stay on course. He got airborne, caught back on his skis and was popped by rut needing to throw himself around the nest gate. He seemed as surprised as anyone to discover he had taken the lead before the final skiers raced. Italian Manfred Moelgg, the runner up to Ted Ligety in the only other men's race of the season at Soelden a couple of weeks ago, finished fourth, Patrick Thaler fifth and a remarkable second run effort from former slalom champ Reinfried Herbst moved him from 30th to sixth with the fastest second run time.
Byggmark said his podium result was indicative that he has finally
returned to the form he had four years ago. Now he knows what he needs
to do. "I am on the podium with the best guys from last year and now the
next step is to beat them. Also, sharing it with a teammate, we train
so closely all year so we are happy for each other when we do well.”
Ligety hung on to get some points down in 13th with Will Brandenburg just behind him in 15th. Dave Chodounsky, the top American in the first run became one of three second run DNF's. He had a clean smooth run rolling when he just trashed a gate at the top of the pitch and got thrown off course."I had been hearing good things about Daver from the coaches in Colorado," said US head gate coach Mike Day, "and it's all due to his hard work in the gym."
After knee surgery last season, Chodounsky has been behind in his on-snow time, a problem exasperated by a broken shoulder. "I had heard great things and he showed it is the first run. He's behind in miles, but ahead in strength."
Brandenburg, the coach said, "exorcized some demons from this hill a year ago." He said Brandenburg had accomplished what coaches had hoped for, "increasing his average speed."
Ligety, the coach said, produced, "a solid result. I think he's ready to make a move (in slalom)."
No Canadian made a second run.-hm
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup slalom, Levi, Finland, Nov. 11, 2012
1 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Byggmark, Voelkl/Fischer/Marker
4 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Thaler, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
6 Herbst, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
8 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Hargin, Nordica/Nordica/
10 Schmid, Volkl/Fischer/Fischer
Men's World Cup slalom, Levi, Finland, Nov. 11, 2012. ... It is the fourth of 74 races on the World Cup schedule. ... the second of 36 on the men's schedule and the first of 11 scheduled men's slaloms (including two city event parallels). ... It is the 14th Cup race hosted by Levi all slaloms, and the fifth for men. Thick fog coats the course.
It is the fifth career World Cup victory for Andre Myhrer, all in slalom and his third slalom win in a row dating back to March 11 at Kranjska Gora. ... He is the second Swede to win at Levi matching Anja Paerson's win in 2006.
It is the 29th career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher and his second of the season in two races having placed third in the Soelden GS. ... His previous best at Levi had been 26th in 2009.
It is the seventh World Cup podium placing for Jens Byggmark and his first since 2008. His previous best at Levi had been sixth in 2006.
Ted Ligety matches his 30th best World Cup slalom result. ... It is his career best at Levi the previous top finish at the site an 18th scored in both 2009 and 2010. ... It is the second best career Cup result for Will Brandenburg topped only by the sixth scored at Kranjska Gora at the end of last season.
Hirscher moves to the lead of the World Cup overall standings 140-130 over Manfred Moelgg (fourth in race). ... Ligety holds third overall at 120. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 326-242 over Italy. ... Sweden jumps to third with 215 and the US is fourth with 148pts. ... Canada is 11th with 23.
Tidbits: It is the third best career result for Patrick Thaler after a third at Kitzbuehel in 2009 and fourth at Bad Kleinkirchheim in 2007...Reinfried Herbst went from 30th after the first run to sixth with the fastest second run. ... It was the best result at Levi for Felix Neureuther by 18 placings. ... It was a career best result for Philipp Schmid from the 47th start. ... Two men who got their first starts at last season's World Cup Finals due to collecting gold medals at the World Junior Championships scored career best finishes at Levi: Henrik Kristoffersen and Santeri Paloniemi. ...It was the second best career placing for Russian Alexander Khoroshilov, highlighted by his first run where he placed fifth from the 45th start. ... It was the first career scoring result for Frenchman Nicolas Thoule. ... And David Ryding got his first score as well, the best for a British male slalom skier since Alain Baxter at Chamonix Jan. 9, 2005.
FIS World Cup
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|44||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|42||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|
|39||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA|
|26||421400||MYHRE Lars Elton||1984||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|