ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — It would have been hard to imagine a more ideal day for a ski race on Monday as the men took on the World Championship alpine combined in St. Moritz. Sunshine and warm weather arrived after a fog-plagued few days of speed and provided a breathtaking backdrop for the third men’s race of the championships. The Swiss faithful were once again treated to a home gold medal as Luca Aerni powered his way to the win with a combined time of 2:26.33 seconds. Defending World Champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was the slimmest possible margin behind, 0.01 seconds, for the silver. Aerni’s compatriot Mauro Caviezel landed in third, 0.06 seconds off the pace.

The morning’s downhill run saw Austrian Romed Baumann set the pace with Aerni and Hirscher sitting 2.61 and 2.30 seconds back in 30th and 28th, respectively. Temperatures warmed before the slalom portion and allowed Aerni to take advantage of being the first racer on course and hold the lead for the remainder of the race and walk away with his first World Championship title. Hirscher actually led Aerni at the final interval by 0.44 seconds, but Aerni managed to squeak past the Austrian superstar thanks to an impressive final section. Caviezel also surprised many with his slalom skills in the deteriorating conditions, clocking the third-fastest time on the run and giving the Swiss their sixth medal of the championships.

Advertisement
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND Ð FEBRUARY 13: Luca Aerni of Switzerland wins the gold medal during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Men's Alpine Combined on February 13, 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Photo by Hans Bezard/Agence Zoom)
Photo by Hans Bezard/Agence Zoom

It was a nerve-wracking wait for Aerni after his downhill run as many racers from the back of the pack were bumping out slalom skier after slalom skier from the flip-30. The 23-year-old Swiss admitted that if one more racer came down and bested his downhill time, there would have been no chance for him to medal, much less win.

“It’s amazing,” Aerni said after the race. “I didn’t expect this this morning, so I am very happy. I think if I started thirty-one, I have no chance, so I was waiting a lot after the downhill to really know that I can start first.”

Although Hirscher had to settle for second place for the tenth time this season, the living legend was happy with a silver medal after battling through a couple days of sickness.

“After two days lying in bed, it is pretty impressive to myself that I am on the podium in this super combined,” he said. “And for sure, downhill was a very big challenge for a slalom skier, but on the other hand it was a lot of fun to do these jumps, to improve yourself, to learn a little more about downhill, and many of you know, this was already my tenth second place so far this season and always very close decisions, so it was a little bit nerve-wracking if you see crossing the finish line one hundredth of a second behind. And I exactly knew the conditions will play in our hands because the conditions were really soft already with the first number, so we knew it can be our day.”

Caviezel even surprised himself with his performance, especially in the slalom portion, since he knew that many very good slalom skiers were running before him in the second run.

“It feels very good,” the Swiss athlete said. “I couldn’t expect it after the downhill, so I’m just glad and really, really happy today. The difficult thing was the slalom because of the conditions and I’m not a slalom specialist. I knew that I had to go all in and now I’m really happy that it happened.”

BENNETT BryceIt was a step in the right direction for the Americans as Bryce Bennett led the pack in 11th with two solid performances in the downhill and slalom portions. Brennan Rubie followed in 15th as Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Jared Goldberg finished in 19th and 21st, respectively.

“For me, personally, I think I could have closed the gap a little bit more in downhill,” explained Bennett. “Next time, when a situation like this arises, I can figure it out. In the slalom, they tried to inject last night, which was a questionable call because it didn’t settle deep enough so there was a thin layer of ice and it chunked through.”

Rubie was just happy to be a part of the experience.

“Since I’m not a downhill skier or a slalom skier, I don’t think I have a lot of perspective on exactly what was what,” admitted Rubie. “I was happy to get down to the finish in both runs and had a lot of fun.”

The team event is next on the schedule in St. Mortiz for Tuesday, Feb. 14.


Top 10

1. Luca Aerni (SUI) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3. Mauro Caviezel (SUI) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6. Justin Murisier (SUI) – Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker
7. Carlo Janka (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
8. Vincent Kreichmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
10. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head/Head/Head


Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS Points
 1 6 511983AERNI Luca1993SUI 1:41.86 44.47 2:26.33 0.00
 2 11 53831HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 1:41.55 44.79 2:26.34 +0.01 0.08
 3 1 511513CAVIEZEL Mauro1988SUI 1:40.30 46.09 2:26.39 +0.06 0.47
 4 19 291459PARIS Dominik1989ITA 1:39.94 46.79 2:26.73 +0.40 3.14
 4 15 422139KILDE Aleksander Aamodt1992NOR 1:40.63 46.10 2:26.73 +0.40 3.14
 6 7 511896MURISIER Justin1992SUI 1:40.43 46.39 2:26.82 +0.49 3.85
 7 4 511313JANKA Carlo1986SUI 1:39.93 47.08 2:27.01 +0.68 5.34
 8 14 53980KRIECHMAYR Vincent1991AUT 1:40.12 46.96 2:27.08 +0.75 5.89
 9 16 192746THEAUX Adrien1984FRA 1:39.37 47.73 2:27.10 +0.77 6.05
 10 9 194364PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 1:40.71 46.48 2:27.19 +0.86 6.76
 11 2 6530104BENNETT Bryce1992USA 1:40.51 46.82 2:27.33 +1.00 7.86
 12 3 51215BAUMANN Romed1986AUT 1:39.25 48.20 2:27.45 +1.12 8.80
 13 20 561255CATER Martin1992SLO 1:39.57 47.93 2:27.50 +1.17 9.19
 14 21 202535DRESSEN Thomas1993GER 1:39.57 47.96 2:27.53 +1.20 9.43
 15 24 934568RUBIE Brennan1991USA 1:41.47 46.19 2:27.66 +1.33 10.45
 16 30 422073NETELAND Bjoernar1991NOR 1:41.49 46.20 2:27.69 +1.36 10.69
 17 8 53902MAYER Matthias1990AUT 1:40.07 47.85 2:27.92 +1.59 12.50
 18 31 481327TRIKHICHEV Pavel1992RUS 1:41.66 46.49 2:28.15 +1.82 14.30
 19 22 6530319COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan1992USA 1:41.04 47.56 2:28.60 +2.27 17.84
 20 13 193967MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA 1:42.08 46.63 2:28.71 +2.38 18.70
 21 28 934643GOLDBERG Jared1991USA 1:40.08 48.75 2:28.83 +2.50 19.65
 22 18 561217KOSI Klemen1991SLO 1:40.95 48.08 2:29.03 +2.70 21.22
 23 33 200379SANDER Andreas1989GER 1:39.92 49.33 2:29.25 +2.92 22.95
 23 29 291318TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA 1:42.41 46.84 2:29.25 +2.92 22.95
 25 37 202059FERSTL Josef1988GER 1:39.95 49.43 2:29.38 +3.05 23.97
 26 44 170131FAARUP Christoffer1992DEN 1:40.99 48.42 2:29.41 +3.08 24.21
 27 53 20398VERDU Joan1995AND 1:41.47 48.25 2:29.72 +3.39 26.64
 28 27 561322HADALIN Stefan1995SLO 1:43.25 46.93 2:30.18 +3.85 30.26
 29 25 150644KRYZL Krystof1986CZE 1:42.57 47.64 2:30.21 +3.88 30.49
 30 42 430429BYDLINSKI Maciej1988POL 1:41.92 49.16 2:31.08 +4.75 37.33
 31 38 110324VON APPEN Henrik1994CHI 1:40.99 50.11 2:31.10 +4.77 37.49
 32 32 150743BERNDT Ondrej1988CZE 1:42.95 48.26 2:31.21 +4.88 38.35
 33 41 481730KUZNETSOV Ivan1996RUS 1:42.43 48.81 2:31.24 +4.91 38.59
 34 43 350095PFIFFNER Marco1994LIE 1:42.75 48.69 2:31.44 +5.11 40.16
 35 51 30149SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier1980ARG 1:43.50 48.96 2:32.46 +6.13 48.18
 36 35 310426VUKICEVIC Marko1992SRB 1:42.29 50.85 2:33.14 +6.81 53.52
 37 40 20324OLIVERAS Marc1991AND 1:42.15 51.56 2:33.71 +7.38 58.00
 38 47 151238ZABYSTRAN Jan1998CZE 1:43.93 49.97 2:33.90 +7.57 59.49
 39 45 151215FOREJTEK Filip1997CZE 1:43.98 50.30 2:34.28 +7.95 62.48
 40 50 700879ZAMPA Andreas1993SVK 1:43.84 51.75 2:35.59 +9.26 72.77
 41 57 670037ZAKURDAEV Igor1987KAZ 1:43.96 51.83 2:35.79 +9.46 74.35
 42 54 310421STEVOVIC Marko1996SRB 1:44.99 50.94 2:35.93 +9.60 75.45
 43 56 240139KEKESI Marton1995HUN 1:46.88 50.41 2:37.29 +10.96 86.13
 44 48 110383VON APPEN Sven1997CHI 1:45.58 52.33 2:37.91 +11.58 91.01
 45 58 942023TAHIRI Albin1989KOS 1:45.28 53.22 2:38.50 +12.17 95.64
Did not start 2nd run
 17 421483JANSRUD Kjetil1985NOR
 12 700830ZAMPA Adam1990SVK
Did not start 1st run
 59 460071ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu1990ROU
 49 430472KLUSAK Michal1990POL
 39 502004KOELL Alexander1990SWE
Did not finish 2nd run
 55 700878BENDIK Martin1993SVK
 52 110409HORWITZ Kai1998CHI
 46 501987MONSEN Felix1994SWE
 36 561214DEBELAK Tilen1991SLO
 34 54320SCHWARZ Marco1995AUT
 26 380335ZUBCIC Filip1993CRO
 23 990081CASSE Mattia1990ITA
 5 194167MUZATON Maxence1990FRA
Did not finish 1st run
 10 292455FILL Peter1982ITA