“I skied pretty bad the whole way and never
found a rhythm,” Ligety told reporters.
Janyk skied to the lead when he ran, and
Brandenburg saw his way to the finish, as well,
placing last and still bettering his only other
World Cup slalom finish, on the same hill last
“I made mistakes but I fought like hell,” said
Janyk, who punched the air in delight at the
end of his second run. “That was one of the
best runs I’ve done in a long time — the way I
attacked and fought through.”
But the course was cut, rutted and bumpy;
and the fog got progressively thicker. Taking
the risks necessary to win a World Cup race
was not conducive to completing the run,
though there were some — including Janyk
— who managed to succeed. Kasper skied
well to maintain ninth place, and Italian Stefano Gross was incredible in moving up to take
an early lead. He locked and loaded his Völkl
ski in the finish but was momentarily humbled
when his finish was protested and he was
asked to leave the podium until the matter was
Kostelic won at Adelboden last season. He
skied cleanly, smartly, looking as if visibility was
perfect and conditions ideal. Having gone out
on the final pitch in previous outings he took a
page from last year’s book and took no risks
on the final pitch. It would cost him.
Matt never got untracked in the second run,
which left only Hirscher and Deville to challenge.
“It was all or nothing — we were at the limit of
it being impossible to race on this course,” said
Hirscher, adding that a skier taking as many
risks as he had should fail to finish more than
half his races. He charged. He was slightly be-
hind Kostelic’s time at each interval. At the fi-
nal pitch, where Kostelic had played it safe, he
rocketed by to claim the lead.
Deville, likewise, charged all out, particu-
larly after sliding out slightly early. Fighting to
stay in course, he dropped steadily back and
then straddled the 71st of 72 gates and came
through the finish.
“The weather was really, really tough,”
Hirscher said. “Conditions were sometimes icy
and bumpy, sometimes really soft. For me it
was probably the hardest slalom I ever skied.”
“I don’t think the conditions could get much
tougher than they were today,” agreed Kostelic,
who has seen a few more at 32 than Hirscher
has at 22.
Canada’s Julien Cousineau would likely
agree. It appears he tore an ACL.
The Austrian press has anointed Hirscher af-
ter three straight wins. He’s not so sure. “It’s
just crazy.,” he said. “I’m on a roll for sure with
three victories in four days. But I’m also ex-
tremely tired and I’m glad to have some time
off before the slalom in Wengen.”
He has taken complete control of the World
Cup overall standings, leading Kostelic by 230
points. Although there are still three more sla-
loms on the January leg of the schedule there
are also three downhills, two super G’s and
two combineds on this month’s schedule, all
events he does not intend to compete in.
Adelboden upheld its tradition. In 2012 we wit-
nessed a great racer rise above the rest. Mar-
cel Hirscher became the first ever to sweep
two races at the site.