David Chodounsky sliced through the fog and the ruts in Zagreb to finish 18th in the Snow Queen Trophy slalom (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)
ZAGREB, Croatia (Jan. 6) - Dartmouth Ski Team alum David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) sliced through fog and rain to lead the U.S. Ski Team with 18th in a heavily rutted Zagreb slalom. First run leader Jens Byggmark of Sweden was dominated by the deteriorating course and nearly went out opening the door for Austrian Marcel Hirscher to become king of the Snow Queen Trophy with victory. It was Hirscher's third win and ninth podium of the season to extend his lead in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom standings and reclaim the overall lead from Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, who did not race.
David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) produced the sixth fastest final run to finish 18th in the Zagreb slalom.
It was Chodounsky's second top 20 this season after posting a career best 15th in Val d'Isere, France last Dec.
Austrian Marcel Hirscher won as first run leader Jens Byggmark of Sweden nearly didn't finish the second run.
Hirscher extended his lead in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom standings and regained the overall.
Reigning slalom champion Andre Myhrer of Sweden was second ahead of Austrian Mario Matt.
Fog and rain combined for a rapidly deteriorating course which produced 31 DNFs in the first run including Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) and Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN).
Next stop on the men's tour is Adelboden, Switzerland - the only major giant slalom Ligety has yet to win.
QUOTES David Chodounsky The first run was really tough, I did all I could and tried to be solid. In the second run, I tried to charge. The top was pretty good and I let it run on the flats. But I lost time on the flat where you don't want to.
Sasha Rearick, Head Coach Dave did a great job fighting in the first run. He went in the worst of the fog and got bucked around at the top, but kept his head in it all the way to the finish. On the second run, he skied very well on the top and the bottom, but there was a quick section going onto the flats were he got hung up and that cost him a lot of time. But he's been showing speed in training and he showed that again today.
The difficulty was the fog. In the first run a groove developed a little bit late in the turn and it wasn't really that big, but the guys couldn't see it at all and they were getting caught by it because it was in a different spot on the turn than typical. That's why the first run was so rough. The second run snow conditions weren't all that different except the guys could see, so they could actually ski race at a high level.