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Herbst sets off Schladming fireworks with night win.

Reinfried Herbst knew what he had to do and he executed beautifully to win the most hotly contested slalom on the World Cup, the smoke coated night slalom in Schladming, Austria.

With Swiss Silvan Zurbriggen having overtaken a brilliant run from teammate Benjamin Raich and a third Austrian, Manfred Pranger, still to come, Herbst attacked an icy course as more than 50,000 spectators ignited smoke flares and kicked the decibel level off the chart. He blew away the competition and grabbed his third win of the season, regaining the lead of the slalom standings as he did it. Pranger, perhaps too cautious with a .59 of a second first run lead, could not match either Herbst or Zurbriggen and slipped into third.

“You can see it is special for everyone,” said Herbst as the crowd worked its way from frenzied spectating into frenzied celebration. “It is the greatest race of the year. This is my world and I like this. I am very happy.”

Benjamin Raich, with a fabulous run of his own, clung to fourth place while Canada got it’s second top five slalom result in a row as Julien Cousineau carved up a tough hill for fifth place. Teammate Michael Janyk finished 12th.

The character of the second heat was established early when a pair of Japanese took command of the race. Naoki Yuasa, with teammate Akira Sasaki close behind, both nailed the top portion of the course and held their lead through a dozen competitors, until the slalom standings leader at the time, Julien Lizeroux, managed to sneak past them despite a costly error coming out of the top flush. Lizeroux finished in seventh, his worst slalom finish of the season while Yuasa and Sasaki got to slap high fives in the finish for most of the night before finishing eighth and ninth respectively the best Japanese finishes since Sasaki was seventh at Zagreb in 2008.

It was not a stellar day for the Americans, yet they nearly put four skiers in the points, something that hasn’t happened in a men’s slalom since 2006. Ted Ligety was 19th, Jimmy Cochran 20th. Nolan Kasper, in his third World Cup start, hip checked in the first and needed to run the upper flush backwards, but still navigated his was to 24th and Bode Miller hiked to make the gate he missed trying to come out of the same flush too straight, still got 26th, but will not get points as he finished too far off the winning pace.

Head coach Sasha Rearick was surprisingly upbeat after the race. “Nolan Kasper, getting points on this hill in just his third start, man that was impressive,” he said. “He made that mistake (the second run) and just played it forward, said ‘okay I made a mistake, but I still know how to ski,’ and made it happen.”

The coach also said that the race surface had a lot to do with how Ligety and Cochran wound up. “After 10 to 15 (skiers) especially the course developed chatter. And it was a cranky course and as soon as it got chattery you couldn’t get a ski on clean. Then, after 25 or so a small groove developed and you could ride the groove.”

Both Cochran and Ligety were also skiing to finish, he said, trying to get their confidence built up for the Olympics. “On this course if you skied to finish you were going to be out a bit.”

As for Bode, coach said “Even though he went out, he was flying.” Miller had gone with a new binding set-up for the race, with the bindings moved to get more tail grip.

“I talked with him a bit after the race, and this race inspired him. He said it was fun,” which was evident from the smile Miller was sporting in the finish after coming in dead last in the second heat.

“I haven”t had a feeling like that in a long time,” Miller told the coach.

Herbst photos by GEPA

The SCOOP
By Hank McKee

Equipment
Men’s night slalom, Schladming, Austria, Jan. 26, 2010

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Herbst, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
2 Zurbriggen, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
3 Pranger, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
4 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Cousineau, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Lizeroux, Dynastar/Lange/Look
8 Yuasa, Hart/Dolomite/Look
9 Sasaki, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
10 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Men’s night slalom, Schladming, Austria, Jan. 26, 2010. … It is the 25th race of the men’s 35 race 2010 World Cup season. … It is the seventh of nine scheduled slaloms. … It is the fifth of six slaloms held this January. … It is the 32nd World Cup race held at Schladming. … the 16th slalom and the 13th night slalom.

It is the eighth career World Cup win for Reinfried Herbst. … all in slalom. … It is his third win of the season and fourth podium. … It is the second time he has won Schladming also winning in 2009. … Austrians have won Schladming for four straight seasons and six of the last seven. … It is the 11th Austrian win this season.

It is the ninth career World Cup podium for Silvan Zurbriggen and the fifth time he has finished second in a World Cup race. … It is his fourth podium of the season and second in slalom. … He has been second three times this season.

It is the 12th career World Cup podium for Manfred Pranger, all in slalom. … It is his second podium of the season having also finished third in the slalom at Alta Badia Dec. 21. … He was the first run leader. … It is his third podium at Schladming having finished second last season to Herbst and winning in 2005.

It is a career best World Cup result for Julien Cousineau, his previous best a ninth score in slalom at Wengen in 2009. … It is his fourth top 10 result. … It is the 22nd top 12 Cup result for Michael Janyk his sixth of the season in seven results, all in slalom. … It is the 75th top 20 Cup result for Ted Ligety. … the worst of his five career scores at Schladming. … It is his 13th score of the season. … It is the 19th career top 20 result for Jimmy Cochran. … his third score at Schladming. … It is his fifth score of the season, all in slalom. … It is the first career scoring result for Nolan Kasper in his third World Cup start.

Benjamin Raich (4th in race) holds the lead of the World Cup overall standings 903-829 over Carlo Janka (did not race). … Didier Cuche (did not race) is third at 746. … Ted Ligety is the top U.S. skier overall in 10th place with 447pts. … Manuel Osborne-Paradis (did not race) is the top Canadian in 15th at 359. … Herbst takes over a narrow lead of the slalom standings 405-402 over Julien Liz roux (7th in race). … Ivica Kostelic (10th in race) is third with 302pts. … Michael Janyk is the top North American in seventh with 196. … Cochran leads the Americans in slalom in 19th place with 80pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 3788-3344 over Switzerland. … Italy is third at 2159. … Canada is fifth with 1324pts and the U.S. sixth at 1272.

Place   Schladming
(AUT)
  Discipline   Slalom
Date   26.01.2010   Category   FIS World Cup
Race codex   0257   Gender   M
Valid for FIS Points   YES   TD Name   Kranjc Matjaz (SLO)
       
  
Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  2  50605 HERBST Reinfried  1978  AUT   52.73  53.18  1:45.91  0.00
 2  9  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan  1981  SUI   53.05  53.42  1:46.47  3.17
 3  1  50624 PRANGER Manfred  1978  AUT   52.14  54.59  1:46.73  4.65
 4  4  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   53.06  53.76  1:46.82  5.16
 5  25  102239 COUSINEAU Julien  1981  CAN   53.66  54.01  1:47.67  9.97
 6  3  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   53.45  54.43  1:47.88  11.16
 7  7  191459 LIZEROUX Julien  1979  FRA   53.95  53.99  1:47.94  11.50
 8  39  301709 YUASA Naoki  1983  JPN   54.71  53.48  1:48.19  12.92
 9  43  301312 SASAKI Akira  1981  JPN   54.93  53.66  1:48.59  15.18
 10  6  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   54.22  54.46  1:48.68  15.69
 11  8  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel  1989  AUT   54.64  54.11  1:48.75  16.09
 12  14  102435 JANYK Michael  1982  CAN   55.11  53.72  1:48.83  16.54
 13  30  501223 BAECK Axel  1987  SWE   54.70  54.18  1:48.88  16.83
 14  32  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI   55.11  53.94  1:49.05  17.79
 15  13  293098 RAZZOLI Giuliano  1984  ITA   54.65  54.41  1:49.06  17.85
 16  5  501111 HARGIN Mattias  1985  SWE   54.11  55.02  1:49.13  18.24
 17  31  50931 BECHTER Patrick  1982  AUT   54.63  54.64  1:49.27  19.04
 18  23  910000 IMBODEN Urs  1975  MDA   54.54  54.77  1:49.31  19.26
 19  16  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   54.57  54.81  1:49.38  19.66
 20  24  534040 COCHRAN Jimmy  1981  USA   54.34  55.54  1:49.88  22.49
 21  42  300804 MINAGAWA Kentaro  1977  JPN   55.27  54.63  1:49.90  22.60
 22  33  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE   54.40  55.68  1:50.08  23.62
 23  59  501116 LAHDENPERAE Anton  1985  SWE   55.43  55.68  1:51.11  29.46
 24  56  532138 KASPER Nolan  1989  USA   55.42  55.75  1:51.17  29.80
 25  28  500656 LARSSON Markus  1979  SWE   55.36  56.88  1:52.24  35.86
 26  17  532431 MILLER Bode  1977  USA   55.18  59.57  1:54.75  50.08
Disqualified 1st run
     201702 NEUREUTHER Felix  1984  GER         
Did not start 1st run
     180292 LEINO Jukka  1978  FIN         
Did not qualify 1st run
     30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier  1980  ARG         
     102912 SPENCE Brad  1984  CAN         
     102403 SEMPLE Ryan  1982  CAN         
     102727 STUTZ Paul  1983  CAN         
     102922 WHITE Trevor  1984  CAN         
     511504 BONER Sandro  1988  SUI         
     80063 LONGHI Jhonatan  1988  BRA         
     193347 TISSOT Maxime  1986  FRA         
     380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO         
     150495 VRABLIK Martin  1982  CZE         
     60088 VAN DEN BOGAERT Jeroen  1979  BEL         
     560425 VAJDIC Bernard  1980  SLO         
     191425 TISSOT Stephane  1979  FRA         
     290732 THALER Patrick  1978  ITA         
     193967 MUFFAT JEANDET Victor  1989  FRA         
     191640 ANSELMET Alexandre  1980  FRA         
     150398 BANK Ondrej  1980  CZE         
     220083 BAXTER Noel  1981  GBR         
     501101 BYGGMARK Jens  1985  SWE         
     511217 CUCHE Dimitri  1985  SUI         
     560371 DRAGSIC Mitja  1979  SLO         
     511127 GINI Marc  1984  SUI         
     92591 ALBRECHT Kilian  1973  BUL         
     480736 HOROSHILOV Alexandr  1984  RUS         
     192943 OBERT Anthony  1985  FRA         
     51159 NOESIG Christoph  1985  AUT         
     50707 MATT Mario  1979  AUT         
     192506 MISSILLIER Steve  1984  FRA         
     50997 OMMINGER Andreas  1983  AUT         
     192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA         
Did not finish 2nd run
     150594 TREJBAL Filip  1985  CZE         
     50981 HOERL Wolfgang  1983  AUT         
     421400 MYHRE Lars Elton  1984  NOR         
     501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE         
Did not finish 1st run
     561148 SKUBE Matic  1988  SLO         
     680041 ABRAMASHVILI Iason  1988  GEO         
     421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian  1987  NOR         
     40304 STEVENS Bryce  1984  AUS         
     700724 BABUSIAK Jaroslav  1984  SVK         
     291318 TONETTI Riccardo  1989  ITA         
     500909 ANDERSSON Oscar  1982  SWE         
     193986 PLACE Francois  1989  FRA         
     102456 BIGGS Patrick  1982  CAN         
     460060 BARBU Alexandru  1987  ROU         
     40349 RISHWORTH Mike  1987  AUS         
     230165 TSIMIKALIS Stephanos  1985  GRE         
     560355 VALENCIC Mitja  1978  SLO         
     90047 GEORGIEV Stefan  1977  BUL         
     50824 DREIER Christoph  1981  AUT         
     291145 DEVILLE Cristian  1981  ITA         
     380290 SAMSAL Dalibor  1985  CRO         
     910001 ROUX Christophe  1983  MDA         
     400163 ROOIJ VAN Joery  1986  NED         
     250127 BJOERGVINSSON Bjoergvin  1980  ISL         
     293797 GROSS Stefano  1986  ITA         
     250267 SIGURGEIRSSON Stefan Jon  1989  ISL         

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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