Sweden’s Myhrer wins World Cup slalom
Ryan Summerlin March 11, 2012
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia – Andre Myhrer of Sweden won the season’s second-to-last men’s World Cup slalom Sunday, while Marcel Hirscher of Austria straddled a gate in the opening run and failed to score points for the overall championship.
Myhrer held on to his lead after the first run and finished in an aggregate time of 1 minute, 40.99 seconds to win his first title of the season and third overall.
Myhrer beat second-place Cristian Deville of Italy by 0.49. Alexis Pinturault of France was 14th after the opening run before a blistering final run lifted him to third, 0.58 behind.
“The skiing has been there all season but the top spot wasn’t there so I really went for that today,” Myhrer said.
Will Brandenburg of the United States had two clean runs and finished sixth for his best career result.
“It’s been a long two years of trying to break through and get to that result. I am really excited,” said Brandenburg, whose previous best on the World Cup circuit was 22nd in a slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, in January.
“I tried to keep a positive attitude this season and keep moving forward from race to race,” he said. “I have the speed but sometimes I take too much risks. Today I skied smart.”
Defending overall champion Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished 16th to extend his lead in the slalom standings over Hirscher to 50 points. Myhrer is another 16 points back in third with one race remaining.
“Ivica and Marcel are also in for the overall title so maybe they get a bit nervous,” Myhrer said.
Beat Feuz of Switzerland, who skipped the race, remains in the overall lead with 1,250 points. Hirscher is second with 1,195 and Kostelic third with 1,064. Fourth-place Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway is also in contention for the World Cup’s biggest prize with 1,031 points.
There are four races left at the World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria, from Wednesday through Sunday. A win in each event is worth 100 points.
It was the fourth time in 10 slaloms this season that Hirscher failed to finish. The Austrian, who won five of the other six races, said his aggressive style of skiing risks straddling gates.
“This style of skiing has also won me a couple of races,” Hirscher said. “It’s part of the game. Of course I could have held back a bit more, but finishing 10th or so doesn’t bring me many points for the big crystal globe.”
Kostelic could have clinched the slalom title by finishing first or second, but he dropped from eighth position after the opening run to 16th. The Croat returned this weekend from a four-week break after knee surgery.
“After Marcel went out, I put pressure on myself to score as many points as possible,” Kostelic said. “That’s not the way I like to ski – it slowed me down. It will get tight next week.”
American Ted Ligety took ninth for his third straight top-10 finish in slalom.
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