KITZBUEHEL, Austria — A perfect week of racing in Kitzbuehel, Austria, wrapped up on Sunday with the men’s slalom down the legendary Ganslern slope. The Austrian faithful were once again treated to a home win as superstar Marcel Hirscher took the victory with a combined time of 1:45.23 seconds, 0.76 seconds ahead of surprise second-place finisher Dave Ryding of Great Britain. Russia’s Alexander Khoroshilov rounded out the podium in third, 1.11 seconds off of Hirscher’s pace.

A tricky first-run set combined with the Ganslern’s infamous terrain saw several of the pre-race favorites make early exits, including Norwegian phenom Henrik Kristoffersen and Italy’s Manfred Moelgg. Ryding wowed the crowd with the fastest opening run, besting many big names in the process. Hirscher sat an uncharacteristic ninth after the first run, over one second off of Ryding while Khoroshilov was comfortably in fourth.

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The sun tucked behind the Tyrolian mountains in the afternoon and cast the slope in shadow as the second run got underway. Hirscher, as he has done so many times throughout his career, laid it all on the line and skied like a man possessed en route to crossing the line with an almost two-second advantage with eight racers to go. Alas, nobody could match the Austrian’s pace as Ryding slid into second place, giving Great Britain it’s first ever World Cup slalom podium and first podium in any discipline since 1981.

After some sluggish skiing in the first run, Hirscher did some soul searching and made the decision that it was a win or nothing at all in the second run.

“You know, after the first run, that was for sure not what I was looking for,” he said. “So often in this season so far, the first runs are not my best ones, maybe too much thinking of making points (for the overall). I don’t know. Between the runs, I was thinking about what I can do to be faster in the second run. At the end, it was the complete trust in myself to take the risk. Before second run, we discussed it; take the risk, it doesn’t matter if I ski out or not. It is racing and not a tactical game.”

KITZBUEHEL, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 22: Dave Ryding of Great Britain takes 2nd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 22, 2017 in Kitzbuehel, Austria (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom)
Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

Ryding, who was ranked outside of the top-30 racers just last season and didn’t start racing until he was a teenager after learning to ski on a dry-slope, couldn’t even imagine getting on the podium — much less at Kitzbuehel — and hopes to inspire a new generation of British skiers to follow in his footsteps.

“I never even dreamed it,” a stunned Ryding said in the finish. “It’s so far beyond my dream that it’s just like, ‘Is this really happening? Am I really doing this in Kitzbuehel, of all places?’ It’s incredible, I’m speechless. Crossing the line, I couldn’t believe it; it was just so cool that it really happened. Coming down into second felt like a win. I had two runs where I really did exactly what I wanted. I just hope it inspires a whole generation now and we can take from this, like, it’s been so long since a Brit was in the top ten — never mind a podium. All the Brits out there, it’s time to go and we can do it.”

After some early season injury struggles, Khoroshilov was happy to climb back onto a World Cup podium, but admitted that he doesn’t think that anyone could have beaten Hirscher on Sunday.

“I’ve had some injuries before, but now I am in good shape,” Khoroshilov said. “I am really happy to be on the podium every time, and it’s amazing, especially in Kitzbuehel. It’s a quite difficult slope and also, you need some experience to ski fast here. I think it’s almost impossible to beat Marcel. He is really fast. Every time second run, he is pushing like hell. I tried also, but I made some mistakes on the top, so it was not easy to catch him. Congrats to him and especially Dave also.”

It was a tough day for the Americans as only David Chodounsky qualified for the second run. Unfortunately, after waking up and feeling under the weather, Chodounsky got hung up at the bottom of his second run and did not finish after posting leading split times for the length of his run. The rest of the Americans, Robby Kelley, Mark Engel, Michael Ankeny, AJ Ginnis, and Ryan Cochran-Siegle either did not qualify for the second run or did not finish the first.

Canadian Erik Read, however, continued his season of breakthrough performances and captured an impressive seventh-place finish. Also of note was Norwegian DU product Leif Kristian Haugen and UVM alum Jonathan Nordbotten, who finished the day in fourth and ninth, respectively.

The men now head to Schladming, Austria, for the iconic night slalom on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

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Top 10

  1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Dave Ryding (GBR) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  3. Alexander Khoroshilov (RUS) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  4. Leif Kristian Haugen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Daniel Yule (SUI) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Felix Neureuther (GER) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  7. Erik Read (CAN) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  8. Marco Schwarz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Jonathan Nordbotten (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  10. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 6 53831HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 54.44 50.79 1:45.23 0.00 100.00
 2 8 220689RYDING Dave1986GBR 53.42 52.57 1:45.99 +0.76 5.20 80.00
 3 4 480736KHOROSHILOV Alexander1984RUS 54.18 52.16 1:46.34 +1.11 7.59 60.00
 4 34 421669HAUGEN Leif Kristian1987NOR 54.23 52.15 1:46.38 +1.15 7.87 50.00
 5 14 511996YULE Daniel1993SUI 54.34 52.50 1:46.84 +1.61 11.02 45.00
 6 2 201702NEUREUTHER Felix1984GER 54.16 52.95 1:47.11 +1.88 12.86 40.00
 7 33 103729READ Erik1991CAN 55.85 51.30 1:47.15 +1.92 13.14 36.00
 8 12 54320SCHWARZ Marco1995AUT 54.26 52.96 1:47.22 +1.99 13.62 32.00
 9 22 421860NORDBOTTEN Jonathan1989NOR 55.46 51.88 1:47.34 +2.11 14.44 29.00
 10 11 194364PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 55.60 52.05 1:47.65 +2.42 16.56 26.00
 11 24 293098RAZZOLI Giuliano1984ITA 55.48 52.18 1:47.66 +2.43 16.63 24.00
 12 26 511902ZENHAEUSERN Ramon1992SUI 54.95 52.75 1:47.70 +2.47 16.90 22.00
 12 20 422082FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian1991NOR 55.40 52.30 1:47.70 +2.47 16.90 22.00
 14 17 192665GRANGE Jean-Baptiste1984FRA 55.14 52.61 1:47.75 +2.52 17.24 18.00
 15 38 6291574SALA Tommaso1995ITA 56.02 51.76 1:47.78 +2.55 17.45 16.00
 16 31 194262BUFFET Robin1991FRA 55.41 52.39 1:47.80 +2.57 17.58 15.00
 17 16 51395DIGRUBER Marc1988AUT 55.15 52.75 1:47.90 +2.67 18.27 14.00
 18 41 202437LUITZ Stefan1992GER 56.36 51.57 1:47.93 +2.70 18.47 13.00
 19 25 301709YUASA Naoki1983JPN 55.17 52.78 1:47.95 +2.72 18.61 12.00
 20 23 193967MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA 55.96 52.00 1:47.96 +2.73 18.68 11.00
 21 47 561322HADALIN Stefan1995SLO 56.31 51.92 1:48.23 +3.00 20.53 10.00
 22 42 511908SCHMIDIGER Reto1992SUI 56.08 52.22 1:48.30 +3.07 21.01 9.00
 23 49 103676BROWN Phil1991CAN 56.00 52.84 1:48.84 +3.61 24.70 8.00
 23 32 511127GINI Marc1984SUI 55.76 53.08 1:48.84 +3.61 24.70 8.00
 25 15 54170MATT Michael1993AUT 55.59 55.15 1:50.74 +5.51 37.70 6.00
Disqualified 1st run
 29 201896STEHLE Dominik1986GER
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 71 170151DYRBYE NAESTED Casper1996DEN
 69 6530319COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan1992USA
 66 491853DEL CAMPO Juan1994ESP
 54 202520HOLZMANN Sebastian1993GER
 53 934502ANKENY Michael1991USA
 50 202485KETTERER David1993GER
 48 6291631LIBERATORE Federico1995ITA
 45 512138SIMONET Sandro1995SUI
 44 380361RODES Istok1996CRO
 43 934523ENGEL Mark1991USA
 40 291318TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA
 39 103865PHILP Trevor1992CAN
 37 320266JUNG Dong-hyun1988KOR
 36 930160KELLEY Robby1990USA
 35 150644KRYZL Krystof1986CZE
 30 501116LAHDENPERAE Anton1985SWE
Did not finish 2nd run
 28 202451STRASSER Linus1992GER
 27 53889HIRSCHBUEHL Christian1990AUT
 19 534508CHODOUNSKY David1984USA
 13 191459LIZEROUX Julien1979FRA
 1 293797GROSS Stefano1986ITA
Did not finish 1st run
 73 54106BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon1992BOL
 72 540026DICKSON SOMMERS Rodolfo Roberto1997MEX
 70 221190NORRIS Kieran1995IRL
 68 60236VAN DEN BROECKE Dries1995BEL
 67 561244KRANJEC Zan1992SLO
 65 430633JASICZEK Michal1994POL
 64 501351JOHANSSON Emil1988SWE
 63 180567RASANEN Joonas1989FIN
 62 54447RUELAND Simon1997AUT
 61 511896MURISIER Justin1992SUI
 60 512063BONVIN Anthony1994SUI
 59 501873LUNDBAECK Gustav1993SWE
 58 194207THEOLIER Steven1990NED
 57 6531063GINNIS AJ1994USA
 56 54252RASCHNER Dominik1994AUT
 55 502015JAKOBSEN Kristoffer1994SWE
 52 6290183RONCI Giordano1992ITA
 51 201891SCHMID Philipp1986GER
 46 511899ROCHAT Marc1992SUI
 21 511983AERNI Luca1993SUI
 18 54063FELLER Manuel1992AUT
 10 290732THALER Patrick1978ITA
 9 501111HARGIN Mattias1985SWE
 7 292491MOELGG Manfred1982ITA
 5 501017MYHRER Andre1983SWE
 3 422304KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik1994NOR