Hirscher adds city event win; Chodounsky into top 20
Amazingly enough, the final four men in the World Cup city event on the 200ft high, 650ft long scaffold ramp in Moscow, also happened to be the top four men in the slalom standings. With a fabulous view from the top and a course that ended at the huge arch marking the entrance to the All-Russia Exhibition Center, the ramp is something of an attraction all in itself. Put the best slalom skiers in the world on it and it becomes something special.
As he has all season, Marcel Hirscher simply out-skied everyone else for the win. It marked his sixth win of the season and his 13th podium. It appears he is starting to dial in the city event parallel format, though he had some tense moments in the early going.
In his first round match with Truls Johansen, the two registered a dead heat first run. In their second run Hirscher got hung up coming out of the horse track like and unfamiliar start gate, fell off to his right and barely managed to stay on his feet. From there, however, he launched an attack and reeled in Johansen to take a .12 of a second win. From that point on, he never looked back, taking out Kostelic in both runs. Though Andre Myhrer was mightily determined, and stuck with the Austrian star in the second heat, Hirscher did narrowly win both runs from him as well.
“There are so many good skiers,” he said in the finish. “It was so close in every heat. All in all I was ahead by maybe half a second. You can only go 100percent and not think about what can happen.”
The only American in the men's field was David Chodounsky, a late hour replacement for Ted Ligety who elected to train for Schladming and not undergo the five hour flight. Chodounsky defeated Manfred Moelgg in the first round with a dazzling come from behind effort despite skiing through a gate near the bottom of the course, and came within a hundredth of a second of defeating Kostelic to get into the final four.
“I knew I was fast at the top, knew I was getting ahead of Moelgg,” said Chodounsky. “I just kept my foot on the floor.”
Chodounsky moved up to 19th in the slalom standings, putting him on the bubble to make World Cup finals. Hirscher maintained the slalom lead 800-616 over fourth place finisher Felix Neureuther. With just two slaloms remaining on the schedule, he need only finish better than 15th in either race to ice the title.
City Event Moscow (RUS)
FIS World Cup
Men's City Event
Jan. 29, 2013
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