After finishing his first run with a 0.51 second lead on both Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) and Johannes Strolz (AUT), Loic Meillard (SUI) was looking confident to claim the victory in today’s slalom. The Swiss had placed second in yesterday’s slalom, only 0.14 seconds behind Kristoffersen. Today, a mistake in his second run today, cost him everything. Tied heading into the second run, Zenhaeusern and Strolz also committed mistakes that saw them ski out of their run, leaving the leader board as it stood.
For the first time this slalom season, there has been a racer who has won two slalom World Cup races. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), who had won the first slalom race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen yesterday, placed 8th in his first run today. He fought back in his second run to surpass Dave Ryding (GBR) to clock in the fastest overall time. This is the first time that the Norwegian has won back-to-back races at a single venue.
Finishing 0.35 seconds behind Kristoffersen, Ryding laid down an unbelievable second run. Placing 19th in the first run, the British skier gave it his all and managed to hold off 10 racers until Kristoffersen. With a tough second run course set, set by Ryding’s coach, the Brit knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy race, but it seems he thrives in the difficulty. “When it’s difficult, I’m good. I showed in Kitzbühel when you need to do some hard skiing, then I can do it” Ryding stated.
Racing in front of a home crowd, the winner of the 2022 Schladming slalom World Cup, Linus Strasser (GER), managed to put on a show for the fans. Finishing his first run in 16th, Strasser let nothing go and managed to secure a 3rd place finish. “Of course, it’s extremely cool also for the people. You can they’re having a blast here, it’s a cool event” he said on finishing on the podium at a home race.
One of the most spectacular results of the weekend came from the Spanish skier, Joaquim Salarich. Having started his slalom World Cup career back in 2015, Salarich only managed to secure his first slalom World Cup points earlier this season, after placing 15th in Val d’Isère and Madonna di Campiglio. He previously never competed in the second run, either due to DNFs or DSQs. Yesterday, starting with bib 50, he tackled the course with confidence and placed 13th in his first run, then 8th overall. Today, starting with bib 49, he completed an impressive first run which placed him 4th. Chasing a first podium finish in his second run, Salarich unfortunately, made a small mistake in the middle of the slope which saw him lose his chance. Nonetheless, he finished 7th which is a new personal best that he is proud of. “The weekend was amazing. I finished two times in the top ten and I never felt happier before.”
The next slalom race will be in Flachau (AUT) on the 9th of March which replaces the men’s slalom which was cancelled in Zagreb (CRO). The men’s World Cup tour next heads to Kvitfjell (NOR) for two downhill races and one Super G race. The first downhill race is scheduled to take place on the 4th of March, the second downhill on the 5th of March and the Super G on the 6th of March.