Sunday, January 15, 2017

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Wengen Slalom

Kristoffersen continued his streak of classic slalom victories on Sunday by taking the win in Wengen, Switzerland, with a combined time of 1:43.31 seconds. Austrian Marcel Hirscher was hot on Kristoffersen’s heels in second, a slim 0.15 seconds back, and Germany’s Felix Neureuther rounded out the podium in third, 0.63 seconds off of the Norwegian’s pace.
After leading the first run, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was able to hold on to his lead and won his 13th career slalom win. The slalom prince already took the win last year in Wengen, but due to lack of snow, the course was set on the downhill track, which has a complete different profile.
Heavy snowfall prevented the organisers from holding the traditional Lauberhorn Downhill on Saturday, but today the weather was kinder and allowed a fantastic show on the original Wengen slalom hill.
"My run was not perfect today", said Kristoffersen, "but I’m really happy to come away with a win here today with how the course setting was, so it was a good day for sure. Today was a little bit more difficult with the course being so fast and straight; I like it a little bit more when it’s turnier and a bit more difficult".
Marcel Hirscher, who was in fourth place after the first run, +0.56 behind, had to push hard in the second run and managed to grab second place.
"It is definitely a day where I can say I’m happy with eighty more points in the books", he explained. "I’m happy with the result and the skiing was not too bad, two solid runs, especially in the second run. It is maybe a half meter of difference with the time, and there is always this kind of battle between Henrik and the rest of the world and for sure, we are searching and fighting to beat Henrik because he is definitely the fastest man on earth on slalom skis".
Germany’s Felix Neureuther finished third and his constant performances allowed him to close the gap that separated him in the season slalom standings, as he is now just over 100 behind Manfred Moelgg, who finished eighth today.
"I had two did not finishes at the end of 2016, so I wasn’t that confident in the new year, so it was very important for me to be on the podium here again. I have three good results now in the new year, and Kitzbuehel and Schladming are next, so I really look forward to that", said Neureuther. "If I ski in the first run like I did in the second run, then it’s possible (to catch Kristoffersen). I wasn’t happy with my first run, I skied very passive. When you are racing against Henrik or Marcel, you can’t do any mistakes because you have no chance".
Before this race in Wengen, Kristoffersen and Hirscher were tied in the season slalom standings. Mid season, the Norwegian is 20 points ahead of the Austrian. With Kitzbuehel, Schladming, Stockholm and Aspen coming up, the battle for the small globe promises to be exciting.

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