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Friday, 14 January 2011

Kostelić Wins Wengen Super Combined






Ivica Kostelic does it again. The "Majstro" took the top podium finish in Switzerland and is looking like he's at the top of his game. I would have no problem with this blog over the rest of the World Cup season, seeming like it's only about Ivica Kostelic. I try to mention a wide variety of topics, and when the Ski Gods beckon, I post. It's still fairly early, but if his health, especially his knees hold up, then it's going to be a great year for Croatian skiing.


Source: www.fisalpine.com

asia.eurosport.com

www.cbc.ca

www.net.hr

www.jutarnji.hr

www.vecernji.hr

www.24sata.hr

www.tsn.ca




 Foto: AFP/PIXELL





WENGEN, SWITZERLAND - On a mild, sunny afternoon with softening snow conditions on the Mannlichen racehill, Croatian veteran Ivica Kostelic continued exactly where he left off last Sunday in Adelboden – winning for the second time in consecutive races.

The two-time Olympic silver medalist in the infrequently contested super combined discipline won Friday's race by 0.58 seconds over Switzerland’s Carlo Janka. Kostelic, fifth after the morning downhill, aggressively attacked the lower section of the afternoon slalom course on the way to his third victory of the season.

“At last – I’ve never had a podium here (in super combined), so a victory is very welcome,” said Kostelic in the finish area after the race. “I consider myself a pretty good combined skier, so to not have a victory here in Wengen with all the classical combines until now is a little sad I think.”

Janka put the pressure on his competitors with a second-place showing in the morning downhill staged on the shortened 3078-meter Lauberhorn piste. The 24-year-old Swiss had a 0.86 advantage over Kostelic entering the slalom but couldn’t hold off the hard charging Croatian.





Ivica's downhill run. (Shouldn't he be wearing a cape or something?)





Kostelic’s impressive slalom run, on a course set by his father Ante, was 1.44 seconds faster than Janka and .85 quicker than third place finisher Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway. His time was also the fastest in the afternoon slalom among all competitors, with American Ted Ligety being the closest, 0.57 back.

“It’s just the spring snow, I really enjoy skiing on it,” said Kostelic. “There’s no impact, it’s just pure skiing.”

“He was pretty careful at the top, but on the bottom really let it go,” said Ivica’s sister Janica, who was shown on the big screen reacting enthusiastically in the finish area. “When you’re skiing good, you’re going to have some luck and he’s having some luck right now.

“Ivica was too strong today, also in downhill, so I’m happy with my result,” said Janka. “It was fun to watch his exciting slalom run.”

It was the second year-in-a-row that Janka achieved second place in the Wengen super combined. In 2009, he won the event while picking up his second career tour victory.

“For me, it’s perfect here with all of the podiums,” he said. “Wengen is a special place for me.”

Svindal, who has been battling a sinus infection, was seventh after the downhill, but climbed to third with a better-than-average slalom performance.

“In the slalom I was pretty good,” said the tall Norwegian. “The downhill I still have some work to do for tomorrow. But let’s be positive, I had a good day today, but not as good as Ivica.”





Ivica's slalom run that wins the event.





Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, the morning downhill leader, slipped to fourth overall, 1.53 behind Kostelic, despite a solid slalom effort.

Innerhofer injured his arm walking on a narrow wooded path to the slalom start. Apparently, his skis which he was carrying, got caught on some branches and subsequently he hurt his arm. He said he would go to the hospital for an X-ray, but hopes to be ready for tomorrow’s downhill.

Bode Miller, who won the super combined in Wengen last year, was sixth after the morning downhill and following an average slalom performance, ended sixth on the day.

“I felt really out of balance,” said Miller referring to his slalom run. “I got a bit unlucky, my buckle came undone at the top, and when it’s this warm and soft, it makes it pretty tough.”

The 31-year-old Kostelic, who has finished no better than fourth in the overall World Cup standings, doing so in 2009, padded his overall lead to 109 ahead of two-time overall champion Svindal.

“He’s going to be tough this year – he looks like the best slalom skier in the world,” said Svindal about Kostelic. “I think we might have the guy to chase for the overall right now.”

Janka, who moved from tenth to seventh in the overall standings, agrees with Kostelic.

“I think at the moment, Ivica is the one to beat,” he said. “With his shape, he can make big points in all the disciplines and that’s really important for the overall, so he’s number one".





Some thoughts on the race from Ivica and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal.





On Sunday, Kostelic will try to duplicate last year’s slalom effort, a race he captured by 0.29, also in soft snow conditions.

“Sunday, we will see. I still have two-and-a-half minutes of tucking to do tomorrow,” said Kostelic, not wanting to look past Saturday’s Lauberhorn downhill. “Then I will have to ski against all of those fresh slalom skiers.”





Jan 14 (Reuters) - Men's World Cup standings on Friday.




Super combined standings

1. Ivica Kostelic (Croatia) 100 points
2. Carlo Janka (Switzerland) 80
3. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 60
4. Christof Innerhofer (Italy) 50
5. Benjamin Raich (Austria) 45
6. Bode Miller (U.S.) 40
7. Adrien Theaux (France) 36
8. Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) 32
9. Ted Ligety (U.S.) 29
10. Ondrej Bank (Czech Republic) 26
11. Peter Fill (Italy) 24
12. Beat Feuz (Switzerland) 22
13. Romed Baumann (Austria) 20
14. Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland) 18
15. Bjoern Sieber (Austria) 16
16. Sandro Viletta (Switzerland) 15
17. Andreas Romar (Finland) 14
18. Siegmar Klotz (Italy) 13
19. Matteo Marsaglia (Italy) 12
20. Joachim Puchner (Austria) 11


Overall standings

1. Ivica Kostelic (Croatia) 604 points
2. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 495
3. Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland) 439
4. Michael Walchhofer (Austria) 409
5. Ted Ligety (U.S.) 408
6. Benjamin Raich (Austria) 389
7. Carlo Janka (Switzerland) 355
8. Romed Baumann (Austria) 345
9. Didier Cuche (Switzerland) 343
10. Marcel Hirscher (Austria) 339
11. Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) 251
12. Bode Miller (U.S.) 244
13. Cyprien Richard (France) 242
14. Christof Innerhofer (Italy) 221
15. Georg Streitberger (Austria) 210
16. Andre Myhrer (Sweden) 204
17. Adrien Theaux (France) 190
18. Felix Neureuther (Germany) 183
19. Thomas Fanara (France) 176
20. Mario Scheiber (Austria) 175

(Compiled by Infostrada Sports; Editing by Toby Davis)






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