Herbst Wins World Cup Slalom Race

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under features

Austria’s Reinfried Herbst managed to top fellow countryman Manfred Pranger to win the men’s World Cup slalom race on Sunday. The race took place on the Kuonisbaergli course in Switzerland and the exhilarating race had spectators holding their breaths in anticipation.

The competition was fierce but Herbst had an absolutely brilliant run to the finish line, crossing it in just 1.42.95. This was quite a turn around after the first leg where he finished only 10th. Pranger, who did exceptionally well in the first leg and was leading, dropped back into second place at the end of the race when he finished 0.18 seconds behind Herbst. Felix Neureuther from Germany finished third just 0.32 seconds slower than the first two. This was the fourth career World Cup win for Reinfried Herbst who was a 2006 Olympic silver medalist. He currently competes only in slalom and this was only his fourth start for the season. Commenting on his victory and choice to stick to slalom skiing, Herbst said: “When you are only focusing on one discipline it is difficult to keep your rhythm. But I’ve been expecting this result. That’s why I was super happy at the finish line.”

US skier Bode Miller may be the defending overall champion, but he was not nearly as successful as Herbst at the World Cup slalom race in Kuonisbaergli. During the morning run he placed fourth and he later dropped to 16th place in the afternoon after a struggle with the final five gates. Fellow US competitor Ted Ligety also disappointed fans by dropping from 8th to 15th place during the course of the event. Jean-Baptiste Grange who has been leading the World Cup slalom placed only ninth. However that was enough to help him to retain his lead.

There are still quite a few races left for the season before the World Cup slalom champion is finally crowned. If the race at Kuonisbaergli was anything to go by, it seems that anything could happen during that time. No doubt fans will be glued to their seats as the series continues as they await the final outcome of the World Cup slalom championship.