Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 14, 2002–Bode Miller of Franconia, NH finished sixth in Sunday’s World Cup slalom and moved himself into second place for the weekend’s downhill combined calculation. Erik Schlopy of Park City, UT was 11th and three more U.S. skiers were in the top 25 behind Croatian Ivica Kostelic, who won by one-hundredth of a second.
Outdoor Life Network will carry coverage of the slalom Thursday night at 8 EST.
Kostelic, whose breakthrough victory came seven weeks ago at the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational in Colorado, finished .01 ahead of Slovenian Mitja Kunc. Edoardo Zardini of Italy came out of the 63rd starting position to finish third.
Miller’s slalom performance on Sunday, coupled with Saturday’s downhill, put him in second place of the combined behind Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway. The second place finish gave him 120 World Cup points — 80 for combined and 40 for the slalom. He currently is the second fastest skier in the world behind the overall leader in World Cup points Stephan Eberharter of Austria.
Also earning more World Cup points and thus changing American Olympic possibilities were Chip Knight of Stowe, VT, Sacha Gros of Vail, CO and rookie Tom Rothrock of Cashmere, WA. Knight was 17th, Gros was 20th and Rothrock collected the first World Cup points of his career with a 25th place finish. Miller and Schlopy have already qualified for February’s Winter Games in Utah, and Knight got one step closer when he met one of the Olympic criteria with his second top-20 World Cup finish.
“It was a huge day for us, an outstanding team effort,” said Head SL/GS Coach Jesse Hunt.
“Bode ripped on that second run, just ripped it .06 behind Canadian Thomas Grandi, who had the fastest time. First run, Bode had a problem with his boot or his binding. He had a hard time, he said, feeling his edge, so he skied a little more conservatively. He wanted to stay in contention for the combined. He’s figuring out the tactics and strategy…but he really put it down in his second run.
“And skiing combined gave him a chance to get some downhill training, a good chance to get some wind in his face.”
Schlopy’s result was his top World Cup finish of the season. “This has to be a good confidence-builder for Erik, a good step back for him. He had an outstanding first run ninth and then skied a little tentatively on his second run, but that was good. Erik wanted that finish and that’s good thinking,” said Hunt.
As indicated by Zardini’s finish and the fact that five skiers who started after No. 40 scored points, the conditions were great. “The courses held up beautifully…no problem,” the coach said.
The men’s tour heads to Kitzbuehel, Austria, for the annual Hahnenkamm Weekend with three races — a super G, the Hahnenkamm downhill and a slalom. It will also be the second and final combined calculation of the winter.
CAFE DE COLOMBIA WORLD CUP
Lauberhorn Slalom, Wengen, SUI – Jan. 13
World Cup Slalom
1. Ivicia Kostelic, Croatia, 1:42.29
2. Mitja Kunc, Slovenia, 1:42.30
3. Edoardo Zardini, Italy, 1:42.61
4. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 1:42.63
5. Jean-Pierre Vidal, France, 1:43.00
6. Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H., 1:43.11
11. Erik Schlopy, Park City, Utah, 1:43.50
17. Chip Knight, Stowe, Vt., 1:43.99
20. Sacha Gros, Vail, Colo., 1:44.25
25. Tom Rothrock, Cashmere, Wash., 1:45.55
DNF-1: Casey Puckett, Aspen, Colo.
Combined (Saturday’s Downhill/Sunday’s Slalom)
1. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway
2. Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H.
3. Lasse Kjus, Norway