Schladming, Jan. 25
It was time for short road trip, one day off and a chance
to sleep a bit later in the morning. Then the slalom ski-
ers met at the outskirts of Schladming for perhaps the
rowdiest race of the season — the Night Slalom.
With temps hovering right at the freezing mark, the
course provided ideal conditions — except for those who
have focused their training on ice. Again, Grange came
from behind to win, this time over a pair of Swedes: An-
dre Myhrer and Mattias Hargin. That not only prevented
the Austrians from winning a race they have captured
in each of the past four years, it also knocked the home
team off the podium. Further exasperating the situation
was Reinfried Herbst failing to finish the second run and
Marcel Hirscher getting DQed at the end of his second
run. Manfred Pranger struggled to 12th, which resulted
in Benni Raich earning the only top- 10 finish, in ninth.
Result: the worst showing in 14 seasons. It did not go
over well with the locals, blasting air horns and shooting
off flares, who expected second-run heroics.
“It is a dream to win here,” said Grange. “I have often
had a bit of luck at Kitzbuehel. Not so often here.”
American heroics were once again left to Kasper. With
the 29th place finish in the first run, he took full advan-
tage of his second run start spot to move into 13th with
the second fastest second run of the night. “Starting two
I went out there and just tried to charge as hard as I
could,” he said. He showed that he can compete with
the rock stars of the World Cup.
Canada’s Janyk finished 14th. Ted Ligety and David
Chodounsky were 19th and 22nd for the U.S. with Ca-
nadians Trevor White and Paul Stutz in 23rd and 25th.
Kostelic finished fifth for a 90-point lead in the slalom
standings over Grange and a 432-point lead over Zur-
briggen for the overall chase.
Everyone ready for February?
At Schladming, Sweden’s Andre Myhrer and Mattias Hargin took second and third.
Grange won the rowdy Night
Slalom at Schladming.