First Andre Myhrer posted an impressive time and then Marcel Hirscher pulled off one of his most spectacular runs to take a 0.35 second lead from Myhrer after the first run. With Henrik Kristoffersen having won the last two races in Wengen, he will need to win from third place after the first run, 0.59 back. Leif Nestvold Haugen is in fourth with Manuel Feller sitting in fifth, just under a second back.
Starting with bib 6, course conditions were brutal for Dave Ryding yet he was holding his own as he fought his way down the steep section. Split times that would have had him in a top five position or thereabouts would have been a fair reflection. Yet coming across one of the small flats down the skiers left hand side of the piste, Ryding made the same error that he made in Levi at the beginning of the season and skied out. Ryding was the first of 25 racers not to make it down the German set course.
At the bottom, Ryding explained that this is what happens when you do not put your weight on the outside ski. It was as simple as that.
Ryding will head back to the training hill on Monday and then start the build up to the next race, Kitzbuehel.
With two seconds covering place six to thirty, there is an opportunity for some big points to be won. For Ryding, this will mean he will probably drop into the 8 – 15 group for Kitzbuehel with both Daniel Yule and Alexis Pinturault, his two rivals for a place in the elite top seven starters both on the second run start list.
Unusually for Wengen both sides of the Jungfrau slope were prepared and after the race on Friday that saw the course deteriorate from soft conditions, the course held up well.
“It was a silly mistake,” Ryding explained but he did not start in the top seven last year in Kitzbuehel and look what happened. It is another race, another opportunity but to win first you have to get down.
The question now is can Hirscher win five Slalom races in a row or will Kristoffersen win his third Wengen race in a row? This would be the second time Hirscher has completed the five in a row feat, and for Kristoffersen, he would become the third racer to complete the three in a row feat in Wengen after Ingemar Stenmark (1975 – 77) and Ivica Kostelic (2010 – 2012). The consolation prize for Kristoffersen is that he is the only racer to have been on the podium at every Slalom this season yet still Hirscher leads the event standings.
Second run starts at 12.15 UK time.