Kostelic had mixed feelings when he crossed the finish line.
IVICA KOSTELIC MISSES VICTORY AGAIN
ON HOME TURF AS MARCEL HIRSCHER
HITS THE WIN AGAIN BY HANK MCKEE
The people of Croatia deserve to have their guy win the one race they host.
Zagreb is a remarkably civil place to ski race, despite the event being held under the
lights on Sljeme Mountain’s Crveni Spust (Red Descent) slope on the edge of the city
limits. There are no hooligans. Though the fans are vocal, sounding stadium horns and
waving flags, they are surely the most polite anywhere on the World Cup circuit. They
applaud the good efforts of every racer, even when those efforts might mean their own
guy — the fabulous Ivica Kostelic — isn’t going to win, again.
The win went, as many other technical races this season have, to Austrian youngster
Marcel Hirscher. Kostelic got his fourth Zagreb podium in five seasons, but this time at
least he wasn’t second but third behind German Felix Neureuther. That may have lessened the letdown a touch, as the anticipation was way higher than the powerful Sljeme
It was an exceptionally close race. The top three of the first run were separated by
0.12. But that is right in the wheelhouse for fans who know Kostelic is often careful in his
first trip down a slalom, turning up the risk factor in the second as needed.