The Olympic silver medallist Reinfried Herbst claimed his first victory of the season ahead of fellow Austrian Manfred Pranger in Adelboden. France's Jean-Baptiste Grange finished ninth and retains the slalom World Cup lead.
REUTERS - Olympic silver medallist Reinfried Herbst of Austria won his first men's Alpine ski race of the season on Sunday with victory in the Adelboden slalom.
Herbst, 30, who won two slaloms last season, recorded his fourth career victory with a combined time of one minute 42.95 seconds. He spent most of the early season competing in the Europa Cup and missed the U.S. section of the World Cup.
Compatriot Manfred Pranger, who missed last season through injury, was second and Germany's Felix Neureuther finished third.
"I feel as good as I did when I got the silver medal in Turin. I never stopped believing in myself and it's great to be back on the podium in such a prestigious place as Adelboden, in front of so many great skiers," Herbst told reporters.
"It's also great to share the podium with Manfred. It's been a long time since Austrians did so well in a slalom.
An Austrian treble looked possible after Benjamin Raich, winner of Saturday's giant slalom, was second fastest behind Pranger in the morning run.
But Raich faltered in the bottom part of the second run to finish 11th, which was good enough for him to keep the World Cup lead on 557 points, 50 ahead of France's Jean-Baptiste Grange.
The Frenchman, who has won two slaloms this season, finished ninth.
"Some people seem to think that I should win every slalom I enter but I never believed it was possible. Ninth is 30 points, I'm not leaving here empty-handed," Grange said.
Other big names struggled on the classic Chunisnaergli course. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal did not qualify for the second leg and American Bode Miller was 16th overall after a solid morning run had placed him in fifth place.
The men's World Cup stays in Switzerland this week with the classic Wengen weekend, including a super-combined, a downhill and a slalom.
Date created : 2009-01-11