Kostelic resists Grange comeback to take Alta Badia slalom

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic secured his ninth career win at the Alta Badia slalom in Italy, finishing ahead of France's Jean-Baptiste Grange and Austria's Benjamin Raich. Grange maintains his lead in the World Cup slalom standings.


AFP - Ivica Kostelic of Croatia won the men's World Cup slalom in Alta Baida, Italy, on Monday ahead of Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange and Benjamin Raich of Austria.

Kostelic, picking up his ninth career win on alpine skiing's elite circuit and his first in two years, dominated the first run ahead of Grange and Raich in a time of 49.26sec.

It gave the 29-year-old Croatian, the brother of retired alpine great Janica, the edge in a thrilling second run which saw the lead change several times.

Kostelic kept his nerve to finish in a total time of 1min 39.83sec, with Grange and Raich respectively at 0.20 and 0.80 behind.

It was Kostelic's first World Cup victory since the super-combined at Reiteralm, Austria two years ago and his first slalom win since Madonna di Campiglio in December 2003.

"It's beautiful ... coming into the finish to see my name above everyone else," said Kostelic, who claimed his first World Cup podium of the season in Sunday's giant slalom.

"I was a litle bit surprised with the first run, especially at the bottom I didn't think I was so fast.

"But it's great to win again."

Grange retained the lead of the World Cup slalom standings while Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal leads the overall standings.

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