Pinturault wins Wengen slalom in unexpected turnaround
WENGEN, Switzerland – With a fantastic second run, Alexis Pinturault became the winner of the 20114 Wengen slalom. The young French was in seventh position after the first run, trailing 0.88 seconds behind the leader Hirscher. By clocking the fastest time of the second run he defied most predictions and snatched his second career slalom victory ahead of Felix Neureuther and Marcel Hirscher who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
“I tried to take my chance and it paid off,” an extremely happy Pinturault said after his second run.
“Its amazing for me, after a tough beginning of the season in slalom I am so happy to be on the podium today, especially to be on the top of it! Today I have added a nice Classic victory to my collection and I never thought I would do this when starting 16th. I tried to attack and take my chances in the second run and I was hoping for a podium but I never dreamed it could be a victory for me here today,” he continued.
After earning a DNF in the Adelboden slalom, Neureuther was looking to regain his confidence and after being a bit disappointed by the way he skied in his first run, he picked up the pace in the second and claimed a spot on the podium.
“When you have a DNF, the next race is never easy and I am absolutely thrilled with my second place today. This past week I focused on training, cleared my head, went back to thinking positively and today is the result of it,” Neureuther explained.
Neureuther had to give it all to stay at the front in the second run and in the end the fifth time of the second run was enough to grant him the second place.
“Rankings were very tight after the first run and I knew that things could go either way. I knew I had to really attack to catch the guys in front of me but Alexis had a really, really good second run and he just went too far,” the German continued.
Marcel Hirscher knew that retaining his lead wouldn’t be an easy task, especially as temperatures kept increasing and by his turn it was significantly marked in some sections.
“You have to give it your personal 100%, otherwise you have no chance to be part of the podium but today in some parts I took too much risk while in others I simply had no speed,” the leader in the World Cup Slalom standings said.
Hirscher is not a skier afraid of taking risks, but today risking it all led to one mistake too many…
“I think the mistake in the last part of the slope cost me the victory, but either way I think it would have been extremely difficult to beat Alexis as his second run was maybe one of the best slalom runs I have ever seen. I’m very happy with this result in general but I am far from happy with the way I skied in the second run.”
A successful weekend of racing wrapped up in Wengen and teams are headed to the next Classic on the calendar – Kitzbuehel. First up is Wednesday’s downhill training!