Felix Neureuther overtakes Marcel Hirscher for slalom win
German with 5th career slalom victory
Germany's Felix Neureuther used a blistering second run to edge first-leg leader Marcel Hirscher and win a World Cup night slalom Monday.
Trailing by just 0.01 after the opening run, Neureuther attacked from start to finish in his second trip down the Stelvio course for a two-leg combined time of one minute, 59.75 seconds.
"I was really pushing hard," said Neureuther, the son of 1976 Olympic champion Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther, a six-time winner on the World Cup circuit.
Hirscher, the two-time defending overall World Cup winner from Austria, finished second, 0.36 seconds behind, and Manfred Moelgg of Italy moved up from sixth after the opening run to place third, 0.65 back.
Naoki Yuasa of Japan had the fastest second run and jumped from 21st to fourth.
The race was moved to Bormio, Italy from Zagreb due to lack of snow in Croatia.
The course was about five or six seconds longer than most slaloms.
"It's a little long and it's very turny but it's not a very challenging course," Hirscher said. "The terrain is too easy to create big gaps."
Moelgg qualified for Italy's Olympic team with his first podium of the season.
"This was a very important podium," he said. "Today I really attacked how I wanted to."
No Canadians made it to the 30-skier second run. Mike Janyk of Whistler, B.C., was top Canadian, in 36th.
While clearly disappointed not to win, Hirscher still gained ground on overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal, who doesn't often race slalom and sat this race out. Svindal's lead over Hirscher was cut from 195 to 115 points. American giant slalom specialist Ted Ligety is third overall, 297 points back.
It was a tough day for Ligety.
He bloodied his nose after a gate snapped up and hit him in the face during the pre-race warmup then was 14th in the opening run. In the second run, Ligety fell toward the bottom of the course. He got back up but finished 27th, last place among those who finished both runs.
"I skied relatively well in sections, I just made some mistakes here and there," Ligety said. "And this hill is so flat you definitely pay on those little mistakes."
Christian Deville of Italy also lost control in the second run and got popped up into the air and fell hard on his back and the back of his head. He appeared to avoid major injury, though.
Markus Larsson of Sweden and Alexis Pinturault of France were disqualified for straddling gates in the first run.
The men's circuit goes to Adelboden, Switzerland, for a giant slalom and slalom next weekend.