WENGEN, Switzerland — Norway’s Henrik 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.

Sunday’s race took place back on the traditional slalom hill in Wengen after last year’s had to be held on the bottom of the downhill track due to a lack of snow. Cloud cover was in-and-out throughout the day, but hard snow and fast racing conditions provided for a lively atmosphere at the finish. Kristoffersen set the pace in the morning as Hirscher and Neureuther sat in fourth and thirteenth place, respectively, after the tightly-packed first run.

Advertisement

It was tight racing once again in the second run as Neureuther took to the course and skied himself in to a comfortable leading margin at the finish after a particularly strong middle and bottom section separated him from the rest of the field. As racer after racer fell to the German’s pace, Hirscher matched Neureuther turn-for-turn and slid into the lead and awaited Kristoffersen’s challenge.

It looked to finally be Hirscher’s day as Kristoffersen bled time at each interval, even finding himself behind at the last split before eking ahead in the final few gates for the narrow win.

Sunday’s win puts Kristoffersen equal with the legendary Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg with 13 slalom wins a piece before turning 23 years old. Only Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark has won more slaloms before his 23rd birthday with 20.

“At the moment, I’m skiing pretty good,” Kristoffersen admitted after the race. “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.”

Although missing out on another victory by mere hundredths of a second does sting, Hirscher was nonetheless content to walk away from Wengen with another 80 points to add to his lead in the overall standings.

WENGEN,SWITZERLAND,15.JAN.17 - ALPINE SKIING - FIS World Cup, slalom, men, award ceremony. Image shows Marcel Hirscher (AUT) and Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Thomas Bachun“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.”

Neureuther used his frustration over a disappointing first run as motivation to charge his way to another World Cup podium, his third this season.

“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.”

For the Americans, independent skier Robby Kelley managed to score his career first World Cup slalom points in 25th, but was hungry to improve on his performance heading into the remainder of the slalom season.

“I was really happy with how I skied first run.” Kelley explained. “I was fourth on the pitch in the first run, so I was trying to maybe even get a little more going into the pitch second run and went a little too straight into it. It’s a bummer; I didn’t have a great run, but I’m happy to get some points.”

Unfortunately, the remainder of the American contingent did not fare so well as David Chodounsky straddled a gate in the second run after a strong first run. Mark Engel and Hig Roberts did not qualify for a second run, and Michael Ankeny and AJ Ginnis did not finish their first runs. Kelley is the fifth American male to score World Cup slalom points this season, indicating that the American squad has some impressive depth going forward.

Also noteworthy was the performance of Austria’s Christian Hirschbuehl, who went from bib 46 to finish just off the podium in fourth, 0.75 seconds back. Norwegian and former DU Pioneer Leif Kristian Haugen managed to lay down the second fastest first run from bib 30, but straddled a gate midway through his second run and did not finish.

The men now head to Kitzbuehel, Austria, for Hahnenkamm week with downhill, super-G and slalom racing Jan. 20-22.

Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by  downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOS and Android.


Top 10

  1. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Felix Neureuther (GER) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  4. Christian Hirschbuehl (AUT) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Julien Lizeroux (FRA) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Mattias Hargin (SWE) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  7. Alexander Khoroshilov (RUS) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  8. Manfred Moelgg (ITA) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  9. Robin Buffet (FRA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  10. Stefan Luitz (GER) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 4 422304KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik1994NOR 52.51 50.80 1:43.31 0.00 100.00
 2 3 53831HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 53.07 50.39 1:43.46 +0.15 1.05 80.00
 3 7 201702NEUREUTHER Felix1984GER 53.48 50.46 1:43.94 +0.63 4.39 60.00
 4 46 53889HIRSCHBUEHL Christian1990AUT 53.41 50.65 1:44.06 +0.75 5.23 50.00
 5 13 191459LIZEROUX Julien1979FRA 53.66 50.56 1:44.22 +0.91 6.34 45.00
 6 9 501111HARGIN Mattias1985SWE 53.09 51.21 1:44.30 +0.99 6.90 40.00
 7 2 480736KHOROSHILOV Alexander1984RUS 52.95 51.54 1:44.49 +1.18 8.22 36.00
 8 1 292491MOELGG Manfred1982ITA 53.34 51.18 1:44.52 +1.21 8.43 32.00
 9 31 194262BUFFET Robin1991FRA 53.44 51.16 1:44.60 +1.29 8.99 29.00
 10 57 202437LUITZ Stefan1992GER 53.66 50.95 1:44.61 +1.30 9.06 26.00
 11 12 194364PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 53.50 51.13 1:44.63 +1.32 9.20 24.00
 12 10 220689RYDING Dave1986GBR 53.29 51.41 1:44.70 +1.39 9.69 22.00
 13 6 293797GROSS Stefano1986ITA 53.11 51.71 1:44.82 +1.51 10.52 20.00
 14 20 192665GRANGE Jean-Baptiste1984FRA 53.98 51.20 1:45.18 +1.87 13.03 18.00
 15 45 561322HADALIN Stefan1995SLO 54.12 51.20 1:45.32 +2.01 14.01 16.00
 16 26 511902ZENHAEUSERN Ramon1992SUI 54.09 51.34 1:45.43 +2.12 14.77 15.00
 17 23 193967MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA 54.06 51.39 1:45.45 +2.14 14.91 14.00
 18 24 293098RAZZOLI Giuliano1984ITA 54.06 51.41 1:45.47 +2.16 15.05 13.00
 19 28 202451STRASSER Linus1992GER 53.81 51.74 1:45.55 +2.24 15.61 12.00
 20 40 6291574SALA Tommaso1995ITA 54.26 51.34 1:45.60 +2.29 15.96 11.00
 21 16 51395DIGRUBER Marc1988AUT 54.18 51.58 1:45.76 +2.45 17.07 10.00
 22 14 511996YULE Daniel1993SUI 54.13 51.73 1:45.86 +2.55 17.77 9.00
 23 53 502015JAKOBSEN Kristoffer1994SWE 53.96 52.06 1:46.02 +2.71 18.89 8.00
 24 49 201891SCHMID Philipp1986GER 53.96 52.10 1:46.06 +2.75 19.17 7.00
 25 35 930160KELLEY Robby1990USA 53.93 52.73 1:46.66 +3.35 23.35 6.00
Disqualified 1st run
 19 54063FELLER Manuel1992AUT
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 66 60236VAN DEN BROECKE Dries1995BEL
 65 150743BERNDT Ondrej1988CZE
 62 501351JOHANSSON Emil1988SWE
 61 934566ROBERTS Hig1991USA
 59 511896MURISIER Justin1992SUI
 58 512063BONVIN Anthony1994SUI
 52 202520HOLZMANN Sebastian1993GER
 50 6290183RONCI Giordano1992ITA
 43 511899ROCHAT Marc1992SUI
 41 934523ENGEL Mark1991USA
 39 511908SCHMIDIGER Reto1992SUI
 38 291318TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA
 37 103865PHILP Trevor1992CAN
 36 320266JUNG Dong-hyun1988KOR
 33 700830ZAMPA Adam1990SVK
 29 501116LAHDENPERAE Anton1985SWE
 27 201896STEHLE Dominik1986GER
 22 421860NORDBOTTEN Jonathan1989NOR
 18 422082FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian1991NOR
 11 54170MATT Michael1993AUT
 8 54320SCHWARZ Marco1995AUT
Did not finish 2nd run
 30 421669HAUGEN Leif Kristian1987NOR
 25 301709YUASA Naoki1983JPN
 17 534508CHODOUNSKY David1984USA
 15 290732THALER Patrick1978ITA
 5 501017MYHRER Andre1983SWE
Did not finish 1st run
 67 54106BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon1992BOL
 64 700879ZAMPA Andreas1993SVK
 63 430633JASICZEK Michal1994POL
 60 304242NARITA Hideyuki1993JPN
 56 194207THEOLIER Steven1990NED
 55 6531063GINNIS AJ1994USA
 54 54245HETTEGGER Thomas1994AUT
 51 934502ANKENY Michael1991USA
 48 103676BROWN Phil1991CAN
 47 6291631LIBERATORE Federico1995ITA
 44 512138SIMONET Sandro1995SUI
 42 380361RODES Istok1996CRO
 34 150644KRYZL Krystof1986CZE
 32 511127GINI Marc1984SUI
 21 511983AERNI Luca1993SUI