Marcel Hirscher gave the world of Men’s Slalom ski racing a lesson in how to win with his first victory in Wengen, his fifth World Cup Slalom win of the season and his 53rd World Cup win across all the disciplines. Fastest on the first run, the Austrian was also fastest on the second run to win by 0.93 from Henrik Kristoffersen with Andre Myhrer taking third. Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhausern took a surprising fourth place with Norways Leif Kristian Nestvold Haugen taking fifth.
Myhrer looked to have raised the bar with a blistering first run but Hirscher had the measure of it to take the first run lead with Kristoffersen chasing the two. Kristoffersen has been on the podium in all the Slalom races this season but has not yet stood on the top step. Only the injured Felix Neureuther and Hirscher have been on the podium in the main races with Myhrer winning the City Event in Oslo.
Michael Matt put a disappointing first run to bed with a much improved second run that saw him move up from joint 17th to sixth overall. He held the lead for a long time before Zenhausern looked to have posted a time that had the 12,500 crowd hoping and dreaming of a first Swiss win in Wengen since 1987.
With the race normally being held down the skiers right of the Jungfrau slope, after the softening conditions in the Alpine Combined, a decision was made to use both sides of the slope. The first run was brutal that saw 25 racers, including Dave Ryding, crash out.
With three to go Kristoffersen put in a huge effort to try and continue his winning run in Wengen. Asked after the race why Hirscher is winning, Kristoffersen was honest in saying “He is just better, I will try and hard as I can. For me it is not about trying to beat Marcel it is about winning races.”
Myhrer was unable to live with the pace set by Kristoffersen and settled for second with Hirscher to come.
Then came a lesson in slalom skiing. This was poetry in motion and the Austrian has raised the bar for the rest of the field to try and match. This was his first win in Wengen and this meant a lot to him.
This was win number 25 in Slalom and he is fast closing in on Stenmark (40) and Tomba (35).
Kitzbuehel is next.