Visit Park City
Bourgeat moved into the lead with thirteen skiers left to race. Second-place Hans-Petter Buraas (NOR) was the last competitor with a chance to beat Bourgeat's time, but even his 1.67 second advantage from the first run was not enough to win this competition, which had four Norwegians in the top-5 going into the second run.
Bourgeat's incredible performance is multiplied by the fact that the course only deteriorated as the race progressed. But to him, poor conditions meant a perfect opportunity to fight, as he did in the slalom in Kranjska Gora last year, where he jumped from nineteenth to second place. That was his highest World Cup finish until today.
"My main goal when I am racing is to remain on the course and not to fall out," said Bourgeat. "In the first season I had skied out quite often. In the second year I was a little more consistent but I was not very fast. Maybe this season I will be at the same time very consistent and very fast."
Bourgeat was one of three Frenchmen in the top-10 including Sebastien Amiez, sixth, and Francois Simond, who tied with Andre Kjetil Aamodt (NOR) for ninth.
Bourgeat, whose mother is a ski instructor, likes to spend time in his home town of Grenoble to recover and relax from training and ski racing. He also enjoys fishing in Iceland with his friend and second-place winner Buraas.
Christian Mayer (AUT) who placed second in Friday's GS, took third in today's slalom. Mayer commended the race department here in Park City for working hard on the course in the snow storm and soft conditions. But even with valiant efforts to maintain the course, conditions were difficult.
"For the first race it was okay, I think so," said Mayer. "And in the second run it was a fight from the beginning to the end."
Mayer trains very hard for slalom and also likes to race in super G. He could be a strong contender for the overall title, but he is not thinking about that now. Instead, he will focus on good results and training for next weekend's super G in Aspen.
Jagge, who won the first race, had a second run that was 2.61 seconds behind Bourgeat, not fast enough to turn his lead into a World Cup win. Jagge tied for fourth with Markus Eberle (GER), who skied his best slalom finish on the World Cup tour ever.
Visibility was poor during the first run as fog and falling snow enveloped the mountain with flat light. The second run was no better, though the snow stopped, the rutted course was brutal, more like freestyle moguls than slalom, forcing most competitors to focus on simply finishing the race rather than on winning it.
Jagge Takes First Run on Unpredictable Course
Jagge, 32, with four World Cup slalom titles and one Olympic gold medal to his credit, is part of a strong Norwegian slalom team with four members placing in the top-5 after the first run. Jure Kosir (SLO) currently holds second and Hans-Petter Buraas (NOR), gold medal winner in the 1998 Winter Olympics Games in Nagano, is third.
Buckets of snow dumped on the course during the race and fog obscurred visibility. Competitors had no choice but to pound their way through ruts that made this run look more like freestyle than slalom. At this rate, the first person out of the gate in the second run's getting freshies.
1. Finn Christian Jagge (NOR) 50.26 2. Jure Kosir (SLO) 50.44 3. Hans-Petter Buraas (NOR) 50.48 4. Ole Christian Furuseth (NOR) 50.48 5. Kjetil Andre Aamodt (NOR) 50.92 6. Christian Mayer (AUT) 50.99 7. Markus Eberle (GER)51.34 8. Thomas Stangassinger (AUT) 51.48 9. Sebastien Amiez (FRA) 51.50 10. Mario Reiter (AUT) 51.53 10. Thomas Grandi (CAN) 51.53
Michelle Quigley, Mountain Zone Staff
[Audio Links] [Park City Home][World Cup Home] [Ski Home]