Klaus Kroell said he lost the line on the
Lauberhorn track, but still won the downhill.
Marcel Hirscher slipped during his second
run and had to settle for second in the
Soft slush was just fine for Wengen slalom
winner Ivica Kostelic.
With his second top-five finish in two weeks
in the Wengen slalom, Michael Janyk quipped,
“Just three more places to go.”
finished second in a World Cup downhill at Wengen.
Third was Janka, last season’s winner. Bode Miller finished eighth, saying he “couldn’t generate speed.” The U.S. was at a distinct disadvantage, with its top three downhill specialists
on the injury list and unable to compete. Andrew Weibrecht is gone for the season to another
shoulder injury and Marco Sullivan’s return to the season is questionable after he sustained
a head injury. Steve Nyman tweaked his back in a Wengen training run and elected to rest in
order to return in time for Kitzbuehel. Travis Ganong got his third scoring result of the season
in 28th. Ted Ligety ended up 30th after a protest resulted in a disqualification ahead of him
and he stepped into a point.
The Canadians had Jan Hudec in 21st and Manuel Osborne-Paradis in 23rd.
Kostelic rejoiced in the “bottomless slush” of the slalom. “I like skiing in soft snow,” he said,
claiming his fourth race of January when first run leader Marcel Hirscher slipped during his
second run and had to settle for second place. Jean-Baptiste Grange was third, nearly a full
second off Kostelic’s time.
The Wengen slalom hill has its steepest section near the top of the hill and then flattens out
some into the finish. The steep caused considerable consternation among the bulk of the
field. Kostelic skied comfortably on the top before opening up through the middle and roaring
through the finishing flat. It was a good strategy.
Posting fourth in slalom was Canadian Michael Janyk, who said he would have been happy
with a top- 10 finish. “In the first run I didn’t get the snap I get when I’m skiing well,” he said.
“Right on the second gate [of the second run] I felt it. Then I knew I was going to be able to
put it on the line.”
It was his second top-five finish in two weeks. “Just three places to go,” he quipped.
Both Ligety and Miller exited in the soft snow of the first run. David Chodounsky, feeding off
a scoring finish at Zagreb earlier in the month, said some of the “nervousness goes away a
bit,” and worked his way up to 19th place, one of four skiers starting after 30 to get points.
With Svindal failing to qualify for a second run, Kostelic’s overall lead expanded again.
Kitzbuehel, Jan. 21-23
The heart of ski racing beats most strongly in Kitzbuehel, Austria. The scenic mountain vil-
lage is best known for its downhill, the toughest race of the season, that spills down a gnarly
bit of real estate called the Streif.
“You’ve got to get amped for Kitzbuehel because you just stare straight down and in three
seconds you’re going 60 miles per hour and the earth drops out underneath you,” said Ny-
The folks at Kitzbuehel call that little drop the Mausefalle, or mouse trap. It’s just one of the
places on course that can cause grievous harm. Hans Grugger, a 29-year-old Austrian, was
the fifth skier down the hill in the only training run. He was off balance and launched off the