Madonna di Campiglio, Italy – Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen won his second-straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom Tuesday night in Madonna di Campiglio to remain atop the overall slalom standings as Austria’s Marcel Hirscher was nearly struck by an aerial drone providing overhead television shots en route to second place and the overall World Cup lead.
“This is horrible,” Hirscher told the Associated Press. “This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury.”
About the race, Hirscher added, “Yes, I’m impressed with Kristoffersen’s skiing, but I’m not surprised that he is dominating at the moment in slalom, we have seen that already in Val d’Isere. There is no way at the moment if he is making no mistakes to beat him. He is the man to beat at the moment, definitely in slalom, and maybe in two months as well in GS.”
Kristoffersen was pleased with his own skiing, too. “It was so bumpy. It was breaking through a little bit on the steep part. I had a few close calls, just like in Val d’Isere, but that’s the way it is in alpine skiing, I’d rather be on the limit,” he said. “Now I’m skiing so good that I can stay on my skis being on the limit and it’s perfect.”
Marco Schwarz of Austria was third. Crested Butte, Colo.’s David Chodounsky, fresh off a career-best slalom result in Val d’Isere last weekend, kept the momentum flowing and once again popped into the top 10.
“I got a result and I’m happy!” Chodounsky said after finishing ninth on the bumpy course, which broke down due to warm temperatures. It was an otherwise disappointing day for the U.S. Ski Team as Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah), Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, Minn.), Mark Engel (Truckee, Calif.), Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), and Tim Kelley (Starksboro, Vt.) all failed to qualify for the second run. Robby Kelley (Starksboro, VT) DNF’d in the first run.
Chodounsky, wearing bib 20, tackled the steep 59-gate first run, finishing 14th. He was well on his way to another solid result in the second run when one mistake knocked him off-balance.
“The (final) pitch was pretty bumpy,” Chodounsky said. “The snow broke up again and it made it tough for me, running two runs starting in the back. I had to go through ruts both times. I just got off-balanced coming into the flats … and it just killed my speed for the bottom.
“But I’m still happy,” he added. “I moved up still, into ninth. I’ll take that!”
Up next, the men’s speed teams travel to Santa Caterina, Italy for downhill competition Dec. 27-29, while the tech teams tackle another night slalom at Zagreb-Sljeme, Croatia, Jan. 6.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy – Dec. 22, 2015
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