Razzoli wins slalom for first World Cup victory | AspenTimes.com

Razzoli wins slalom for first World Cup victory

Eric Willemsen
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Italy's Giuliano Razzoli cheers in the finish area after winning the alpine ski, Men's World Cup Slalom race, in Zagreb, Croatia, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

ZAGREB, Croatia – Giuliano Razzoli earned his first World Cup victory on Wednesday, leading Italy to a 1-2 finish in a slalom.

Razzoli was second after the opening run on the Crveni Spust course and finished in an aggregate time of 1 minute, 50 seconds to beat Manfred Moelgg by 0.23 seconds.

Julien Lizeroux of France was 0.49 seconds back in third.

“What a fantastic day,” said the 25-year-old Razzoli, whose third place last year here was his first career podium finish. “You can’t describe this. The atmosphere is fantastic and the hill really suits me.”

Jimmy Cochran was the top American finisher in 25th. Ted Ligety went out when he fell just before the finish of the first run. Bode Miller skipped the race to rest a sore ankle. He is expected to return to the World Cup circuit for Saturday’s giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland.

Reinfried Herbst of Austria held a big lead over Razzoli after the opening leg, but made a mistake early in his second run and finished 0.84 back in fifth.

“In slalom, you always push it to the limits. Maybe I overdid it a bit in the second run,” Herbst said. “That mistake doesn’t really hurt me. If you finish fifth, you can’t be dissatisfied.”

Herbst won the two previous slalom races this season and remains atop the discipline standings.

“It was difficult. The course is hard and bumpy, but OK,” Herbst said.

Benjamin Raich of Austria regained the lead in the overall World Cup standings after placing 11th. Carlo Janka of Switzerland trails Raich by 12 points after skipping the race.

Slalom world champion Manfred Pranger of Austria also went out on the first run, straddling final gate.

Ligety was attacking at the bottom of the course when he lost balance on one ski.

“I was skiing OK. It wasn’t super clean,” Ligety said. “The course preparation is good considering they had no snow and it’s kind of warm here.”

Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic, who finished second here last year, also failed to finish after he missed a gate halfway down the course.

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