Saturday, March 19, 2011
Ivica Kostelic seals slalom title in finale
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland -- World Cup overall champion Ivica Kostelic added the slalom title on Saturday, and Guiliano Razzoli won the final race in thick fog.
Kostelic placed 18th, but his closest rivals failed to take advantage. Jean-Baptiste Grange of France skied out in the first run, and Andre Myhrer of Sweden, who needed to win the race, was sixth in rapidly worsening visibility.
As usual, Kostelic was cheered by hundreds of Croatian supporters in the finish-area grandstands, many waving flags and wearing national team soccer jerseys.
However, the thick fog meant spectators could hardly see the racers cross the finish line, or even the television pictures on a giant screen.
Kostelic's second slalom title comes nine years after the first in his injury-plagued career. With good health this season, Kostelic delivered a stunning streak of results. He had seven victories in January, three in slalom events.
Kostelic also was the runaway winner in the overall standings, and won the super-combined title.
Razzoli's two-run time of 1 minute, 25.72 seconds sealed his first victory since his gold-medal performance in slalom at the Vancouver Olympics 13 months ago. Razzoli finished 0.03 seconds ahead of first-run leader Mario Matt of Austria, who was seeking his third straight win. Felix Neureuther of Germany was third.
The men's slalom had been delayed because of the weather conditions and took the starting time slots previously allocated to the women's giant slalom.
The women's race was canceled early Saturday because of poor snow conditions, denying Lindsey Vonn a chance to overtake Maria Riesch for the overall trophy.
Riesch hung on to her three-point lead and clinched her first overall title, ending her American friend's three-year domination.