Herbst wins World Cup slalom over icy course
Associated Press Writer
SCHLADMING, Austria – Reinfried Herbst of Austria mastered the icy Planai course for a second straight year in winning the World Cup night slalom Tuesday.
Bode Miller, meanwhile, finished out of the top 10 and failed to earn any World Cup points.
Herbst earned his third win of the season and eighth overall in a combined 1 minute, 45.91 seconds. Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland was 0.56 seconds back in second. Austria’s Manfred Pranger was third, 0.82 seconds behind.
Following wins in Levi, Finland, and Alta Badia, Italy, Herbst regained the lead in the slalom standings. He has 405 points, 3 ahead of Julien Lizeroux of France, who finished seventh.
Herbst was determined to make up for losing a strong lead in the second run of Sunday’s slalom at Kitzbuehel.
“I was very focused for my second run,” he said. “I desperately wanted to win today and just went for it in the final run. I took the risk that I might go out again.”
Herbst said he was relieved to have two clean runs after Sunday’s disappointment.
“The course was excellent, though a bit more icy, as I expected,” Herbst said.
World slalom champion Pranger held a 0.59-second lead going into the final run but soon fell behind Herbst’s time.
“I slipped at the start and had another mistake shortly afterward,” Pranger said. “I am happy my advantage was big enough to still finish on the podium. Obviously you want to win, but I went out many times this season so it was not easy to fully charge and take too many risks.”
Benjamin Raich of Austria was fourth, but extended his lead over Carlo Janka of Switzerland in the overall World Cup standings. Raich leads 903-829.
Miller, who skipped the slalom two days ago to rest a sore ankle, had similar mistakes in both runs as he lost balance in left turns going into the steeper middle section of the course.
The American finished 8.84 seconds back in 26th.
The men’s World Cup circuit continues with two giant slaloms and a slalom race in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, this weekend. They are the final races before the Vancouver Olympics.
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