Marcel Hirscher clinches his sixth consecutive overall World Cup title. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Stanko Gruden)
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (Mar. 4, 2017) – David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) was the top U.S. finisher at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Kranjska Gora taking 21st place. Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the race, clinching his sixth consecutive overall World Cup crystal globe.
A storied race that has been on the alpine circuit since it began in 1967, the Vitranc Pokal is the last World Cup series for the men before World Cup Finals, March 15-19 in Aspen, Colorado. Notably missing was Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), who is out with an injury, but has won at the Slovenian venue a record six times.
The second run weather deteriorated quickly, with a thick cloud settling on the course and rain drizzling on the racers. The snow was good—the rain working with the salted snow—but visibility was tough, causing a number of race holds throughout the second run.
But the conditions didn’t trip up Hirscher. Accompanying him on the podium was Leif Kristian Haugen of Norway in second - a career best result - and Matts Olsson of Sweden in third.
Chodounsky finished just ahead of teammate Tim Jitloff (Park City, UT), who was 22nd. Tommy Ford (Bend, OR), who has only ever scored points or DNFed at Kranjska Gora, had a strong first run, finishing 16th, but went down on his hip in the second run and did not finish.
“I could have been a little bit faster,” said Chodounsky. “It’s the end of the season and my body feels it. I’m a little sick. It was difficult out there today but I pushed and gave it all I could.”
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) and Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, CO) did not qualify for a second run. Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT) and Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage, AK) did not finish first run.
The men race slalom at Kranjska Gora Sunday to wrap up the World Cup tour in Europe. Chodounsky, who was seventh on the track in the 2016 slalom, looks for a good result to propel him into the top 25 and qualify him for the Aspen World Cup Finals.
David Chodounsky was the top American finisher in 21st. Tim Jitloff was 22nd.
Marcel Hirscher clinched his sixth consecutive overall World Cup crystal globe.
The top 25 men move on to the Aspen World Cup Finals for the final GS race of the season.
A slalom in Kranjska Gora on Sunday wraps up the World Cup tour in Europe.
David Chodounsky I could have been a little bit faster. It’s the end of the season and my body feels it. I’m a little sick. It was difficult out there today but I pushed and gave it all I could. I’m glad to get some points and it’s on to next year for GS.
The snow wasn’t bad. It was actually very good. Because it’s straight rain, the salt works. The snow is nice, but the visibility is hard. That’s the tough part. You can’t see the little bumps and it makes you uneasy. You have to trust yourself and go.
I’m guessing similar conditions for the slalom tomorrow. I’m going to go as hard as I can. I’m looking for a good result to make it to Aspen.