Italian skier Manfred Moelgg is the victor of Thursday’s World Cup slalom race on Sljeme peak above Zagreb in front of 12.000 spectators. This is his first triumph in Zagreb, third overall in the World Cup. His former wins came also in slalom, 2008 in Kranjska Gora in Slovenia and 2009 in Garmisch in Germany, Jutarnji List reported on January 5, 2017.
Second place went to German Felix Neureuther, third to Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, while the leading World Cup skier, Austrian Marcel Hirscher was sixth.
There were many suprises in the first run, the first one by French Julien Lizeroux who was in the lead for a long time, only to be overtaken by Austrian Manuel Feller. American Mark Engel, with a start number 45, had the third best time and for the first time ever made it to the second run of slalom in the World Cup.
However, Manuel Feller and Mark Engel failed to complete the second run, while Julien Lizeroux was ninth in the end.
75 skiers competed on Sljeme, with 52 completing the first run. World Cup winner from the 2010/2011 season and former best slalom skier Ivica Kostelić, whose knee injury is keeping him away from skiing pinnacles, was 51st. Elias Kolega was 41st, Matej Vidović 48th, while Filip Zubčić and William Vukelić failed to finish the race.
“There is always hope, but after the race it is different, you can see it’s simply not working, and yet you hope again. And so for the last three, four years hoping it will get better. Trying everything, looking for options, but it’s not working. It is possible this is my last Sljeme competition and I wanted to thank the audience for motivating me all these years,” said Ivica Kostelić, who was greeted by Croatian skiing lovers just like in the years when he was winning.
The closest to entering the second race was the world junior champion in slalom, Varaždin native Istok Rodeš, who finished 33rd.
“Definitely not my best ride, but it was close. A wind gust at the entrance to the filter took away my sub-30 placement. Not sure if it was windy for others, but at one point I couldn’t see the next pole,” said Istok Rodeš.
In total rankings of the World Cup Marcel Hirscher is still in lead with 753 points. Next is Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud with 482 points, French Alexis Pinturault with 465 and Henrik Kristoffersen with 442 points.
In the slalom rankings leading Marcel Hirscher has 300 points, second is Kristoffersen with 260 and third Manfred Moelgg with 246 points.