The rain was falling all day in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for the last World Cup slalom before the finals as Austria’s Marcel Hirscher took his second victory in as many days by 0.81 seconds over Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen in second. Italy’s Stefano Gross took third, 1.11 seconds back.

First run action saw Hirscher leading the race with a sizable 0.75- second margin and looked to be in the driver’s seat in not only the race, but also the discipline standings as he only sat just over 100 points behind Kristoffersen, who found himself in seventh after the first run.

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As course crews worked diligently to keep the course in skiable shape during the second run, Kristoffersen laid down a performance fans have grown used to seeing from the young Norwegian phenom, crossing the line well in the lead and poised to make a big jump in the standings. As racer after racer either fell victim to the course or Kristofferson’s blistering pace, Hirscher pushed out of the start and skied relaxed and composed down the rugged course, crossing the line for the win. Kristoffersen’s performance was enough to lock up his first career crystal globe, as he now sits 111 points clear of Hirscher in the slalom standings with only one race to go.

Hirscher was able to race largely pressure-free on Sunday, knowing that he secured the giant slalom and overall titles the day before and realizing that the slalom title was likely out of reach barring a disaster for Kristoffersen. That carefree skiing translated into a win that looked effortless on a day where many racers struggled mightily with the conditions.

“It is a lot of fun,” Hirscher explained in the finish. “Most of the time, I’m always thinking during the skiing, ‘please not to straddle, please not to lose so much time,’ because I need as many points as possible. And today, it was just for fun. It was really great, just an amazing race. Congrats to Henrik for an amazing slalom season, the real and true champion of this season in slalom, and I’ll be back next season!”

For Kristoffersen, Sunday’s runner-up finish caps off what has been a stellar year for the 21-year-old. Six World Cup slalom wins, two second-place finishes, and his first crystal globe. Oh, yeah, and there’s still one more slalom to go in St. Moritz.

“Yeah, I can relax a little bit more,” Kristoffersen said. “I really had to work with myself before second run there. This is maybe the first time in a really long time I had to work really hard with myself and I felt the pressure a little bit. I didn’t feel the pressure from the outside, but from myself. You kind of have to try and forget about the globe a little bit, forget about the slalom standings, because the most important thing is the skiing. I had to work a lot with my head going up the lift for the second run. If you would have asked me if this was going to happen last year, I would have definitely said no.”

Gross claimed his third podium of the season, battling through tough conditions with tenacity and aggression that has become his trademark in recent years.

For the Americans, David Chodounsky led the way with a solid seventh place, bouncing back after a disappointing DNF in the last World Cup slalom in Yuzawa Naeba, Japan, last month. The American now heads into World Cup finals sitting in 12th place in the slalom standings and undoubtedly looks to improve on that ranking before the season comes to a close.

“It’s great, I’m psyched,” Chodounsky said. “Coming down in the lead is always really good and I’m really happy with that. I felt my top was really good with one mistake just before the finish. I feel like that cost me a little time, but that’s OK, I still had a good run.”

Tying Chodounsky in seventh was Swede Mattias Hargin who sat in 30th after the first run. Having nothing to lose, the Swede set the fastest second run time and was able to jump all the way into a top-10 finish with some impressive skiing in tough conditions.

The men’s tour now travels to Scandinavia for downhill and super G races in Kvitfjell, Norway, March 10-13.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

1. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2. Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3. Gross, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
4. Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5. Schwarz, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
7. Chodounsky, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
7. Hargin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9. Myhrer, Head/Head/Head
10. Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

  • Men’s World Cup slalom, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 6, 2016. … It is the 38th race of the men’s 45 race schedule. … The 10th of 11 slaloms (ninth of 10 remaining on the schedule after the cancellation of Levi in November). … It is the 86th World Cup race hosted by Kranjska Gora and the 44th slalom. … The race is part of the 55th Pokal Vitranc Cup series. … Henrik Kristoffersen is the defending champion. … Marcel Hirscher has never previously won a slalom at Kranjska Gora.
  • It is the 39th career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher, his eighth of the season. … It is his 18th career slalom win and second slalom win of the season. The winning margin is 0.81 of a second. … Top two are within the same second. … Top 11 within two seconds. … It is his first slalom victory at Kranjska Gora but his second win in two days at the site.
  • It is the 23rd career World Cup podium for Henrik Kristoffersen. … His 12th of the season.
  • It is the ninth career World Cup podium for Stefano Gross. … His third of the season having also been third in slalom at Wengen and in the city event at Stockholm.
  • David Chodounsky matches his third best career World Cup placing. … It is his third top 10 of the season.
  • Marcel Hirscher extends his lead of the World Cup overall standings to 1625-1272 over Kristoffersen. … Alexis Pinturault (sixth in race) is third overall with 1080.
  • Kristoffersen leads the slalom standings 811-700 over Hirscher. … With a single slalom remaining he cannot be beaten for the title. … Felix Neureuther (DNF 2nd) is third in the slalom standings with 363pts.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 5123-4816 over France. … Norway is third at 4191pts. … The U.S. is seventh with 1781pts and Canada tenth at 524pts.

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS Points
 1 7 53831HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 51.72 54.52 1:46.24 0.00
 2 6 422304KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik1994NOR 52.68 54.37 1:47.05 +0.81 5.49
 3 3 293797GROSS Stefano1986ITA 52.53 54.82 1:47.35 +1.11 7.52
 4 1 202462DOPFER Fritz1987GER 52.51 54.99 1:47.50 +1.26 8.54
 5 14 54320SCHWARZ Marco1995AUT 53.14 54.37 1:47.51 +1.27 8.61
 6 15 194364PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 53.28 54.42 1:47.70 +1.46 9.89
 7 17 534508CHODOUNSKY David1984USA 53.44 54.39 1:47.83 +1.59 10.78
 7 5 501111HARGIN Mattias1985SWE 53.86 53.97 1:47.83 +1.59 10.78
 9 12 501017MYHRER Andre1983SWE 53.01 55.06 1:48.07 +1.83 12.40
 10 20 292491MOELGG Manfred1982ITA 53.15 55.03 1:48.18 +1.94 13.15
 11 4 480736KHOROSHILOV Alexander1984RUS 53.31 54.89 1:48.20 +1.96 13.28
 12 23 201896STEHLE Dominik1986GER 53.43 54.84 1:48.27 +2.03 13.76
 13 10 192665GRANGE Jean-Baptiste1984FRA 52.73 55.56 1:48.29 +2.05 13.89
 14 29 54170MATT Michael1993AUT 53.61 54.70 1:48.31 +2.07 14.03
 14 18 51395DIGRUBER Marc1988AUT 53.30 55.01 1:48.31 +2.07 14.03
 16 8 511996YULE Daniel1993SUI 53.77 54.55 1:48.32 +2.08 14.10
 17 37 202451STRASSER Linus1992GER 53.71 54.67 1:48.38 +2.14 14.50
 18 25 501116LAHDENPERAE Anton1985SWE 53.73 54.93 1:48.66 +2.42 16.40
 19 32 194262BUFFET Robin1991FRA 53.64 55.07 1:48.71 +2.47 16.74
 20 30 421669HAUGEN Leif Kristian1987NOR 53.73 55.08 1:48.81 +2.57 17.42
 21 13 422082FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian1991NOR 52.82 56.11 1:48.93 +2.69 18.23
 22 19 501101BYGGMARK Jens1985SWE 53.82 55.24 1:49.06 +2.82 19.11
 23 26 511902ZENHAEUSERN Ramon1992SUI 53.75 55.38 1:49.13 +2.89 19.59
 24 22 220689RYDING Dave1986GBR 53.69 55.60 1:49.29 +3.05 20.67
 25 35 301709YUASA Naoki1983JPN 53.81 55.83 1:49.64 +3.40 23.04
 26 27 511983AERNI Luca1993SUI 53.85 58.86 1:52.71 +6.47 43.85
Did not start 1st run
 56 380290SAMSAL Dalibor1985HUN
 53 380334VIDOVIC Matej1993CRO
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 80 800013TOLA Erjon1986ALB
 79 240139KEKESI Marton1995HUN
 78 710353SLJIVIC Marko1996BIH
 76 561244KRANJEC Zan1992SLO
 74 410365BARWOOD Adam1992NZL
 73 561217KOSI Klemen1991SLO
 71 700868FALAT Matej1993SVK
 70 202437LUITZ Stefan1992GER
 68 511896MURISIER Justin1992SUI
 67 380335ZUBCIC Filip1993CRO
 66 50605HERBST Reinfried1978AUT
 64 561296SPIK Jakob1994SLO
 63 103676BROWN Phil1991CAN
 62 561291GROSELJ Zan1993SLO
 61 54252RASCHNER Dominik1994AUT
 60 194207THEOLIER Steven1990FRA
 59 380260KOSTELIC Ivica1979CRO
 58 511899ROCHAT Marc1992SUI
 55 561117KUERNER Miha1987SLO
 54 291145DEVILLE Cristian1981ITA
 52 511908SCHMIDIGER Reto1992SUI
 50 150644KRYZL Krystof1986CZE
 49 193986PLACE Francois1989FRA
 48 934523ENGEL Mark1991USA
 47 6531063GINNIS AJ1994USA
 46 50981HOERL Wolfgang1983AUT
 45 930160KELLEY Robby1990USA
 43 421954LYSDAHL Espen1990NOR
 42 180567RASANEN Joonas1989FIN
 41 192506MISSILLIER Steve1984FRA
 40 530837KELLEY Tim1986USA
 39 561148SKUBE Matic1988SLO
 38 934502ANKENY Michael1991USA
 36 103865PHILP Trevor1992CAN
 34 511127GINI Marc1984SUI
 31 291318TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA
 28 501223BAECK Axel1987SWE
 24 54063FELLER Manuel1992AUT
 16 193967MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA
Did not finish 2nd run
 57 53889HIRSCHBUEHL Christian1990AUT
 11 290732THALER Patrick1978ITA
 9 191459LIZEROUX Julien1979FRA
 2 201702NEUREUTHER Felix1984GER
Did not finish 1st run
 77 430617CHRAPEK Adam1993POL
 75 30149SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier1980ARG
 72 481103ANDRIENKO Aleksander1990RUS
 69 6290183RONCI Giordano1992ITA
 65 60160ALAERTS Kai1989BEL
 51 290095BALLERIN Andrea1989ITA
 44 934566ROBERTS Hig1991USA
 33 700830ZAMPA Adam1990SVK
 21 421860NORDBOTTEN Jonathan1989NOR