Matt becomes oldest man to win World Cup slalom


David Chodounsky in Val d'Isere (GEPA/Andreas Pranter)

Chodounsky in Val d’Isere (GEPA/Andreas Pranter)

Today’s contest in France is why the FIS holds races. On paper it was a foregone conclusion that Marcel Hirscher would win the slalom at Val d’Isere, just as he had five of the last seven World Cup slaloms. But Hirscher hiked, finished more than four seconds off the pace and failed to make the flip for a second run, ending his consecutive slalom podium streak at ten.

Another fact many thought they knew was that a younger generation of racers had taken control of slalom. But the podium at Val d’Isere, where the steep, icy Face de Bellevarde was packed with a forest of slalom poles, featured a bunch of 30 and near 30-somethings at the top of the standings.

Winning was 34-year-old Mario Matt, a World Cup victor back in 2000. Second place went to Swede Matthias Hargin, 28. Italian Patrick Thaler, 35, was third and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange, 29, was fourth.

“It has been two years since my podiums in Zagreb and Schladming and I have been fighting a lot these last two years. It feels great to capitalize on that,” exclaimed Hargin. “This season we have a new coach, Rudi Soulard, and that change has been very important for me. We have the same way of thinking and we worked a lot on the setup, finding a way to help me ski smoother and not have it set up as aggressively as I used to do before.”

The grand news for the U.S. was not Ted Ligety, who was 3.59 seconds out after the first run and joined Hirscher on the sidelines. Nor was it Bode Miller, who exited the course roughly six gates in. The U.S. hero was Ivy Leaguer David Chodounsky, 15th after first run, who absolutely rocked the second run. Particularly on the second half of the hill, Chodounsky accelerated to grab a lead he maintained through six more competitors. Hargin finally knocked him back as the Swedes proceeded to put three into the top three positions before the more experienced athletes took final control. Chodounsky finished seventh. It is the best slalom finish for a U.S. male since Will Brandenburg was sixth at Kranjska Gora March 11, 2012. Aside from a fifth-place finish in last year’s Moscow City Event, it is also Chodounsky’s career-best result.

Matt became the oldest slalom winner of all time, topping the age of 33 previously registered by Finn Christian Jagge in 1999. It was Matt’s 15th World Cup win, and first in two plus seasons, the last coming March 6, 2011 at Kranjska Gora.

Matt was second (to Hirscher) in the slalom opener at Levi, Finland in November and has likely now secured his Olympic team spot.

“(It was) many, many years ago that I had such a good start, Levi second place and now first. It’s really incredible because on this hill here I had no luck before. I’m more than happy today,” Matt said. It was his 14th slalom win, matching Benjamin Raich for the most ever recorded by an Austrian male.

‎”I hope I can make more good results,” Matt said. “Slalom — it’s so tough, everybody is risking everything. It’s going really quick and then you are out or 10th place with one mistake, it’s not easy.”

After an impressive ninth-place finish in the first run from bib 56, Canada’s Julien Cousineau dropped back to 18th. The only other North American in the second run was his teammate Mike Janyk, who finished 21st.

See the photo gallery here.

 

Watch Matt’s winning run (available only in the U.S.)

 

The Scoop

Men’s World Cup Slalom, Val d’Isere, France, Dec. 15, 2013

Equipment- Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Matt, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker

2 Hargin, Nordica/Nordica/

3 Thaler, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

4 Grange, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

5 Larsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

6 Myhrer, Nordica/Nordica/

7 Chodounsky, Nordica/Nordica/

8 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

9 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

10 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker

 

Men’s World Cup Slalom, Val d’Isere, France, Dec. 15, 2013. … It is the ninth of 34 races on the men’s 2013-14 World Cup schedule. … The second of nine scheduled slaloms. … It is the 58th annual Criterium de Premier Neige and the 161st World Cup event held at least in part at Val d’Isere. … It is just the tenth World Cup slalom at the site… fourth for men.

It is the 15th World Cup victory for Mario Matt, the 14th in slalom matching the Austrian men’s record held by Benjamin Raich. At 34 years eight months he becomes the oldest man to win a World Cup slalom, topping the mark set by Finn Christian Jagge in 1999. …It is his second podium of the season having placed second in the slalom opener at Levi, Finland Nov. 17.

It is a personal best World Cup placing for Mattias Hargin and his third podium having twice placed third in slaloms in January of 2011 (Zagreb and Schladming). … He matches his sister’s best result (from Are combined 2002) for family bragging rights.

Patrick Thaler matches his career personal best in a World Cup race, matching his third from the Kitzbuehel slalom Jan. 25, 2009.

It is the second best World Cup result for David Chodounsky, bested only by his fifth at last season’s Moscow City Event. His previous best in a World Cup slalom is tenth at Adelboden, also last season. … It is the 20th top 20 World Cup result for Julien Cousineau and his first score of the season. … It is the 60th World Cup scoring result for Michael Janyk and his second of the season. … It is his first score at Val d’Isere.

Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) retains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 360-335 over Marcel Hirscher (DNQ to complete race) with Ted Ligety (DNQ to complete race) third with 269pts. … Bode Miller (DNF in race) is ninth overall with 153pts. … Jan Hudec (did not race) is top Canadian in 27th with 91pts.

Matt takes control of the slalom standings 180-125 over Hargin. … Hirscher and Thaler are third with 100pts each. … Chodounsky is top American in the slalom standings at 12th with 36pts… Janyk leads the Canadians in 23rd with 21pts.

Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup standings 11566-984 over France. … Italy is third with 963pts. … The U.S. is sixth with 544pts and Canada ninth with 276pts.

 

Results 

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  7  50707 MATT Mario 1979 AUT  51.52  53.07  1:44.59  0.00
 2  12  501111 HARGIN Mattias 1985 SWE  52.32  52.80  1:45.12  3.14
 3  14  290732 THALER Patrick 1978 ITA  51.84  53.53  1:45.37  4.62
 4  21  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste 1984 FRA  52.01  53.40  1:45.41  4.86
 5  13  500656 LARSSON Markus 1979 SWE  52.11  53.35  1:45.46  5.16
 6  1  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  52.23  53.29  1:45.52  5.51
 7  27  534508 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA  52.95  52.60  1:45.55  5.69
 8  5  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  52.71  52.86  1:45.57  5.81
 9  11  50625 RAICH Benjamin 1978 AUT  52.61  53.02  1:45.63  6.17
 10  4  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix 1984 GER  52.17  53.53  1:45.70  6.58
 11  36  50981 HOERL Wolfgang 1983 AUT  53.40  52.33  1:45.73  6.76
 12  10  50605 HERBST Reinfried 1978 AUT  53.01  52.77  1:45.78  7.05
 13  50  501116 LAHDENPERAE Anton 1985 SWE  53.39  52.55  1:45.94  8.00
 14  19  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  52.91  53.06  1:45.97  8.18
 15  23  560355 VALENCIC Mitja 1978 SLO  52.54  53.44  1:45.98  8.24
 16  20  301709 YUASA Naoki 1983 JPN  53.87  52.15  1:46.02  8.48
 17  8  293797 GROSS Stefano 1986 ITA  52.27  53.99  1:46.26  9.90
 18  56  102239 COUSINEAU Julien 1981 CAN  52.47  53.83  1:46.30  10.14
 19  22  511174 VOGEL Markus 1984 SUI  52.82  53.56  1:46.38  10.61
 20  29  501223 BAECK Axel 1987 SWE  53.18  53.22  1:46.40  10.73
 21  25  102435 JANYK Michael 1982 CAN  53.59  52.90  1:46.49  11.26
 22  3  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  53.48  53.40  1:46.88  13.57
 23  39  511983 AERNI Luca 1993 SUI  53.07  53.82  1:46.89  13.63
 24  26  291145 DEVILLE Cristian 1981 ITA  53.52  53.42  1:46.94  13.93
 25  46  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  53.52  53.95  1:47.47  17.07
 26  57  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  53.79  53.89  1:47.68  18.32
 27  24  480736 KHOROSHILOV Alexander 1984 RUS  53.38  54.32  1:47.70  18.44
 27  6  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO  53.31  54.39  1:47.70  18.44
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 61  191459 LIZEROUX Julien 1979 FRA
 52  202437 LUITZ Stefan 1992 GER
 49  422082 SOLEVAAG Sebastian-Foss 1991 NOR
 44  511902 ZENHAEUSERN Ramon 1992 SUI
 43  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA
 40  102912 SPENCE Brad 1984 CAN
 38  194212 THOULE Nicolas 1990 FRA
 37  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK
 35  301312 SASAKI Akira 1981 JPN
 16  534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA
 2  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT
Did not finish 2nd run
 48  380290 SAMSAL Dalibor 1985 CRO
 42  180703 PALONIEMI Santeri 1993 FIN
Did not finish 1st run
 68  800013 TOLA Erjon 1986 ALB
 67  40594 PERAUDO Ross 1992 AUS
 66  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI
 65  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS
 64  150594 TREJBAL Filip 1985 CZE
 63  180627 MALMSTROM Victor 1991 FIN
 62  300804 MINAGAWA Kentaro 1977 JPN
 60  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI
 59  511996 YULE Daniel 1993 SUI
 58  193334 RIVAS Gabriel 1986 FRA
 55  193986 PLACE Francois 1989 FRA
 54  530165 BRANDENBURG Will 1987 USA
 53  511127 GINI Marc 1984 SUI
 51  201891 SCHMID Philipp 1986 GER
 47  294890 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA
 45  103676 BROWN Philip 1991 CAN
 41  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA
 34  102727 STUTZ Paul 1983 CAN
 33  421860 NORDBOTTEN Jonathan 1989 NOR
 32  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT
 31  532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA
 30  532138 KASPER Nolan 1989 USA
 28  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR
 18  50624 PRANGER Manfred 1978 AUT
 17  293098 RAZZOLI Giuliano 1984 ITA
 15  192506 MISSILLIER Steve 1984 FRA
 9  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA

 

Worley survives for the win in St. MoritzHirscher masters Val d'Isere for second year in a row

Comments

comments



skiracingmag's Latest Youtube Favorite


See more Ski Racing Videos in our Video Vault


Ski Racing Magazine LB1