David Chodounsky leads U.S. in Austria
Under the lights of Schladming with more than 50,000 screaming fans, David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, Colorado) was set up perfectly for another top Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom result.
"I came out firing up top and felt pretty good, then down at the bottom, I don’t know if I just tightened up a little bit or what. I just didn’t ski well," said Chodounsky, who was fifth after the first run, but finished 11th. "I’m having great first runs. One of these times I’m going to put two of them together and it’s going to be pretty sweet."
Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway took the victory in electrifying fashion, overcoming a 1.10-second first-run deficit to take his sixth slalom victory of the season, extending his overall World Cup slalom lead to 180 points over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who finished second Tuesday night. Last year’s Schladming winner, Alexander Khoroshilov of Russia, finished third.
Hirscher kept the Austrian fans on their toes, struggling in his first run due to a goggle issue and finishing 20th. However, with clear goggles in his second run, he turned on the afterburners to win the second run by almost a full second and climb the ladder to take second.
With his second-place points, Hirscher moved into the overall World Cup lead by 53 points over Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who is out for the rest of the season following successful knee surgery last weekend after crashing in the downhill at Kitzbuehel. Kristoffersen is now third overall, just 98 points back.
Germany’s Felix Neureuther won the first run and was well on his way to a podium result, leading by 0.30 seconds midway through the second run. However, he missed a gate and did not finish.
Four other American’s competed Tuesday night: Mark Engel (Truckee, California) and Robby Kelly (Starksboro, Vermont) failed to qualify for the second run. Tim Kelley (Starksboro) and Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, Minnesota) did not finish the first run.
Up next, the men’s World Cup circuit moves to Garmisch, Germany, Jan. 30-31 for downhill and super G races.
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