MERIBEL, France — Henrik Kristoffersen clinched the men’s slalom title in the last event of the World Cup ski season Sunday, placing second in a race dominated by Norway.
Kristoffersen was in a duel for the seasonlong title with Lucas Braathen and they were also the last two starters after placing 1-2 in the first run.
After Kristoffersen fought down through soft snow to be second-fastest behind another Norwegian, Atle Lie McGrath, the season-ending run by Braathen left him more than a second back in 11th place.
McGrath won the race 0.37 seconds ahead of Kristoffersen. Manuel Feller of Austria was 0.77 back in third.
Kristoffersen earned 80 World Cup points to top the standings with Feller runner-up, followed by McGrath and Braathen.
It was the third career World Cup slalom title for the 27-year-old Kristoffersen, who is now being pushed hard by his 21-year-old teammates Braathen and the United States-born McGrath.
McGrath’s second career win was a back-to-back success within two weeks after the night slalom at Flachau, Austria.
The difficulty of finding speed on a fast-degrading slope Sunday was shown by the fastest second-leg run being set by the first racer when the snow surface was best, Joaquim Salarich of Spain. He jumped from 25th place to finish fifth.
Luke Winters snagged his second top 10 World Cup result with an eighth place finish – his second run was the third-fastest time on course. He finished 23rd overall in the World Cup slalom standings.
Kristoffersen’s victory ensured all the men’s crystal trophies this season were went to Norway or Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt.
Odermatt, who does not ski slalom, won the overall title and the giant slalom discipline, and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won the downhill and super-G trophies.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more.