David Chodounsky produced a brilliant performance in Val d'Isere to finish a career-best seventh in the Val d'Isere slalom (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Francis Bompard)
VAL D'ISERE, France (Dec. 15) - David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) produced a courageous final run Sunday to post a career-best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom with seventh in Val d'Isere. The 2007 NCAA overall champion for alpine skiing was 14th after the opening run and produced the fourth-fastest final run time to jump seven more slots on the notoriously steep and icy Face de Belvarde. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) fell victim to the steeps with Ligety missing the top-30 final and Miller skiing out. Austrian Mario Matt won the race as teammate Marcel Hirscher also failed to qualify for the final.
David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) produced a slalom career-best seventh in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup at Val d'Isere, France.
The 2007 NCAA overall champion's previous career highlights were a fifth in the 2013 World Cup parallel slalom held in Moscow and a 10th last season in the Adelboden slalom.
Fourteenth after the first run, Choudounsky skied a flawless final run to jump up seven more spots on the steep and icy Face de Belvarde.
Austrian Mario Matt won the race for the 14th World Cup slalom victory of his career. Swede Mattias Hargin was second with Patrick Thaler of Italy third.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Marcel Hirscher, the reigning overall and slalom champion, did not qualify for the second run.
Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) and Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) did not finish the first run.
The race will air at 12 p.m. ET Sunday on Universal Sports Network.
The men's tour now rolls to Italy for the famed Saslong classic downhill and super G, followed by a giant slalom in Alta Badia.
QUOTES David Chodounsky Val d’Isere is really tough. It’s steep. The snow was really hard and inconsistent. It was grippy in spots and invariable. I feel like tactically and technically I’m skiing really well. So this hill worked for me.
I was really happy with my first run. I didn’t quite have the confidence to really go at it, but it was solid with no big mistakes, which really helps on this hill. I made it into 15th on the first run and then in the second run I had a little more confidence and fired one in there. I was really happy with the control I had and with the speed I was carrying as well. I feel like I have a little more speed left in me as well, so maybe first run I just need to step it up a little bit. I’m hoping for more and hopefully some podiums this year.
Sasha Rearick, men's alpine Head Coach It was tough conditions where it was very hard snow but very grippy. We’ve been training on ice getting ready for Val d’Isere and we didn’t make that transition very well today. So that’s something we’ve got to work on in the future.
I was actually very optimistic and stoked to see the progress that Nolan and Will have made. They haven't been skiing great this past couple weeks. The past eight or nine days they've worked really hard and they're skiing is in a better place. They both had a little tactical issue that prevented them from qualifying, but it was good to see that those guys are moving in the right direction with their skiing.
We’re going to go train in Alta-Badia for the next three days getting ready for the Grand Risa and also at the same time do a little preparation for Val Gardena. It makes it a tough and interesting week, because you have to glide in Val Gardena and you’ve got to be on your A-game clean skiing, arcing turns on a steep pitch for Alta Badia. The contrast of training and racing is going to be interesting.