Hirscher wins Adelboden slalom with brilliant 2nd run
The Kings of Slalom were stacked up 11 deep at Adelboden after the first run.
With a first course that appeared to quicken as the surface snow was skied off and the well prepared undercoat brought up the lead changed with five consecutive racers and first starting Marcel Hirscher, the current slalom standing leader found himself mired in eighth after the heat, .87 behind. All told there were 11 skiers within a second of first run leader Manfred Moelgg.
“The first run was pretty good,” Hirscher would say after the second run, "but I had a mistake. I was a bit pissed on. With one mistake I was eight tenths out.”
The second run, held under a weak sun, saw American David Chodounsky put down a fast run to take the early lead and it held, and held, and held, at least until the Kings strutted their stuff. Alexis Pinturault, 11th after one with a conservative run was the first to overtake Chodounsky, the eventual tenth place career best finisher.
Pinturault's two run time held through the next two skiers until Hirscher got his chance. It was evident from his first two turns he was looking to do some damage.
“It was all or nothing,” said Hirscher, who had crashed out of the preceding day's GS with the same philosophy. “If you played poker you would day 'all in'.”
He rocked the Adelboden race hill, a large crowd enthralled by his flawless appearing attack. He beat Chodounsky's second run time by .83, and was the only man to do so on the day. Hirscher led the field by 1.19 seconds.
Facing the pressure to try and overcome Hirscher;s perfection, the next two skiers, Cristian Deville and Andre Myhrer struggled, then straddled gates and went out. Manfred Pranger dropped off Hirscher's pace early and slid back to finish 1.79 out. Ivica Kostelic, skiing as well as he has all season, also dropped back quickly and skied into second place 1.12 back.
Felix Neureuther held his first run lead much of the way down the Chuenisbaergli, but errors on the final pitch compounded one another and he slipped into third. Mario Matt, with his hunched over hard charging style slowly lost his first run advantage to finish second where he would stay.
That left only Moelgg to overtake Hirscher and he started with a .82 of a second lead. Like Matt, his time advantage slowly evaporated until it was gone completely. He took over third.
This was a race of titans, won by the best technician riding skis of his own design. As a race, it was a thing of beauty.
Chodounsky, with the second fastest second run of the day wound up tenth. Ted Ligety finished one place behind him in 11th. Hircher got his fourth win of the season and ninth podium in ten completed races and Austria got two men on the same podium for the second time this season.
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 13, 2013
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Matt, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
3 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
6 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Pranger, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
8 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
9 Missillier, Dynastar/Lange/Look
10 Chodounsky, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
Men's World Cup Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 13, 2013. ... It is the 48th race of the 2013 World Cup schedule. ... the 18th of 36th men's races and the fifth of nine scheduled slaloms (sixth of 11 races scoring slalom points with two city event parallels). ... It is the 54th Cup race hosted at Adelboden. ... the 11th slalom.
It is the 16th career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. ... his ninth in slalom. ... It is his fourth win of the season. ... He is the first to win two Adelboden Cup slaloms.
It is the 38th career World Cup podium for Mario Matt. ... 36th in slalom. ... It is his fourth podium scored at Adelboden. ... It is his second podium of the season the other scored at Zagreb Jan. 6.
It is the 16th career World Cup podium for Manfred Moelgg. ... his first at Adelboden. ... It is his second podium of the season having placed second in GS at Soelden Oct. 28.
It is a career best World Cup finish for David Chodounsky. ... He haas scored in six Cup races. ... four this season. ... Ted Ligety matches his 26th best Cup slalom result. ... second best of the season.
Hirscher leads the World Cup overall standings 855-729 over Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race). ... Ligety is third overall with 676. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 18th with 189pts. ... Hirscher leads the slalom standings 520-386 over Felix Neureuther (fifth in race). ... Andre Myhrer (second run DNF) is third in slalom with 330pts. ... Ligety is top US skier in 12th with 110pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 2996-2079 over Italy. ... France is third with 1622. ... The US is fifth with 1121 and Canada eighth with 434pts.
Jan. 13, 2013
1 Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 1:51,75
2 Mario Matt (AUT) +0.30
3 Manfred Moelgg (Ita) +0.62
4 Ivica Kostelic (Cro) +1.12.
5 Felix Neureuther (Ger) +1.16.
6 Alexis Pinturault (Fra) +1.19.
7 Manfred Pranger (Aut) +1.72.
8 Fritz Dopfer (Ger) +1.86.
9 Steve Missillier (Fra) +1.92.
10 David Chodounsky (USA) +2.12.
11 Ted Ligety (USA) +2.44.
12 Giuliano Razzoli (Ita) +2.50.
13 Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor) +2.69.
14 Naoki Yuasa (Jap) +3.01.
15 Roberto Nani (Ita) +3.03.
16 Jean-Baptiste Grange (Fra) + 3.05
16 Manuel Feller (Aut) +3.05.
18 Gabriel Rivas (Fra) +3.15.
19 Steven Théolier (Fra) +3:16.
20 Alexander Khoroshilov (Rus) +3.19.
21 Krystof Kryzl (Cze) +3.28.
22 Ramon Zenhäusern (Sui) +3.30.
23 Victor Muffat Jeandet (Fra) +3.36.
24 Markus Vogel (Sui) +3.58.
25 Leif Kristian Haugen (Nor) +4.07.
26 Truls Johansen (Nor) +4.16.
27 Marc Gini (Sui) +4.69.