A proud podium for Kostelic
and Natko Zrncic-Dim.
Bode Miller and Ted Ligety elected to skip the races, and the rest
of the U.S. team might as well have. “We had our challenges here
in Chamonix,” explained US men’s coach Sasha Rearick. “We had
a gastro virus spread through the team in 24 hours. ... not fun. It
was a very, very strong virus.”
After bouts of intensive vomiting, Travis Ganong was the top U.S.
finisher in 35th.
The combined saw history made and a joyous event on the podium as Ivica Kostelic and teammate Natko Zrncic-Dim got to sing
the Croatian national anthem. Though the two had shared a podium before, they had never gone 1-2, nor had any other of their
After the downhill leg of the combined, Kostelic looked like a long
shot to get his seventh win of the month and continue his march
toward the World Cup overall title. He sat two and a half seconds
back of the downhill leaders, and there were plenty of fast slalom
skiers among the group of 20 skiers.
“After the [downhill] I was mad,” said Kostelic, “and I knew that I
can only succeed if I put everything at stake. ... I went to the end
and it paid off.”
With years of training for consistency behind him, Kostelic turned
it loose and put down a blistering slalom run — and then waited.
Even in temperatures hovering at freezing, the course held up
well but his run was hardly threatened. He wound up a half-second
ahead of Zrncic-Dim, having beaten him by two seconds in the slalom. Svindal, second after the downhill leg, was almost three seconds behind him in the slalom for third place. Kjetil Jansrud, who
actually started the slalom one place ahead of Kostelic, wound up
fourth for a “Croatia, Croatia, Norway, Norway” listing on the final
While the U.S. squad was recovering, as a whole it was out of the
competition after the downhill with no one making the top 30. Will
Brandenburg posted a strong-enough slalom to move up to 22nd
and gain a career best (of two) World Cup finish. Canadian Ben
Thomsen got his third career scoring result in 29th.
And Kostelic boosted his overall Cup leading point total to 1178,
and a more or less comfortable 475-point lead.