King for a Night
Andre Myhrer is crowned Snow King at Zagreb
evening slalom BY HANK MCKEE PHOTOS BY GEPA
Zagreb, on the calendar for Jan. 6 this winter, marks the start of a slalom sprint that
will define the season. A peek at the men’s World Cup slalom schedule helps put the
Zagreb night slalom in sharp focus. There was one slalom in November and another in
December. There is one in February and two in March. January holds five — a full half
of the season.
In many regards, that showed. The big guns were all firing. After the first run, Olympic
gold medalist Giuliano Razzoli of Italy was leading narrowly over Ivica Kostelic, who is
the primary reason a men’s slalom was added to the schedule in his home country’s
largest city. All-star Benjamin Raich (first or second overall the last six seasons with four
Olympic medals and seven World Championship medals) was third.
Double World Championship medalist Julien Lizeroux, third and second in the Cup
slalom standings the last two seasons, sat fifth. The 2008 slalom champ, Manfred Moelgg,
sat sixth. Olympic silver medalist and defending Cup slalom champion Reinfried Herbst
was seventh. And six-time World Junior medalist Marcel Hirscher, tied for the slalom
standings lead at the time, was 10th; all of them were within a second of Razzoli.
And all of them wanted this race in hopes of setting up a streak of success that might
carry them through the month and an unobstructed path to the World Cup slalom title.