Kosir poised to repeat his local World Cup success

Without a victory this season, he may so far have fallen short of expectations. But when he skies at home at home, the pressure is even greater on Jure Kosir to win.

Without a victory this season, he may so far have fallen short of expectations. But when he skies at home at home, the pressure is even greater on Jure Kosir to win.

In Tuesday's World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, the 27-year old Slovene, a member of the Kranjska Gora team, is poised to repeat the victory he clinched here last January in front of thousands of his jubilant fans.

"To take part in a race in front of a home crowd is an extra motivation for me," Kosir said. "I've always liked this slope."

Last week, Kosir skied his best race, coming in fifth in the slalom at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. But the bronze medalist from the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics is far from content with his performance so far.

"I'm not satisfied with the start of the season," he said. "I haven't yet put on my best performance. Slovenia has a strong team, we can all do better."

Last year, Kosir won prestigious slaloms at Kranjska Gora and Kitzbuehl and clinched the second spot in the overall World Cup slalom standings behind Austria's Thomas Stangassinger.

The Austrian, who finished second and third in the two opening slaloms of the season, will be Kosir's biggest rival for gold on Tuesday.

Also looking for a podium finish will be Switzerland's Didier Plaschy, who took the gold in the season's first slalom at Beaver Creek, Colorado and Austrians Benjamin Raich and Mario Reiter.

Other strong opponents include Norwegians Finn Christian Jagge, the winner at Madonna di Campiglio, and Kjetil Andre Aamodt.

Kosir predicts a close contest.

"Anybody can win," he said. "At the moment, I can't see anybody who would clearly dominate in men's slalom."

The Tuesday's slalom is scheduled to start at 0900 GMT.

Overall World Cup leader, Hermann Maier of Austria, traditionally skips slaloms and won't take part in the race.

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