Kristoffersen king of Adelboden slalom

10 January 2016 13:47
Henrik Kristoffersen wins Adelboden slalom
Henrik Kristoffersen wins Adelboden slalom -
Agence Zoom

Adelboden (SUI)  finally saw some action on the slopes today as Norwegian young gun Henrik Kristoffersen won the Audi FIS World Cup men’s under snowy, foggy skies. Kristoffersen came down the famous Chuenesbargli hill in a combined time of 1:51:34, barely edging Marcel Hirscher by a very slim 0.06 seconds. Alexander Khoroshillov (RUS) came in third place, 0.60 seconds behind.

Kristoffersen finished the first run in third place sitting 0.32 seconds off the pace, but in the second run he was flawless on the tricky ‘Zeilhang’ the last steep pitch that leads into the finish area.

Both Kristoffersen and Hircher have finished in the top three in all four of this season’s slalom races, with the two exchanging bragging rights for the top spot. Kristoffersen has the edge after today as he was won three of the races (Adelboden, Madonna, Val d’Isere), while Hirscher has one slalom win (Santa Caterina) against the Norwegian this season.

Adelboden has been particularly good to Kristoffersen, he has been on the podium the last three seasons here, finishing in third place in slalom 2014 and also third place in the giant slalom in 2015.

"It's pretty unbelievable actually" said Kristoffersen. "That was a really tight race, close race between Marcel and me, but to win here in Adelboden in front of that many spectators and it being a real classic is great. There have been so many big legends winning here before me that to be on that list is really cool."

Hirscher is also very strong in Adelboden as he has been on the podium every year here since 2010, but today he couldn't lay down two perfect runs.

"At the beginning, when I crossed the finish line, I was a little bit mad about two stupid little mistakes on the last part of the course" said Hirscher. In general, with the second place, I'm super happy. The whole day was very crazy. In the early morning, a lot of heavy snowfall and bad visibility during the first run. In the second run, big ruts, big bumps everywhere so really tough, tough skiing in the slalom today."

Both Kristoffersen and Hircher have finished in the top three in all four of this season’s slalom races, with the two exchanging bragging rights for the top spot. Kristoffersen has the edge after today as he was won three of the races (Adelboden, Madonna, Val d’Isere), while Hirscher has one slalom win (Santa Caterina) against the Norwegian this season.

Third-place finisher Khoroshillov has steadily been improving on the World Cup tour. It was his second consecutive third-place finish, and his fifth career World Cup podium.

"I am on the podium and Henrik had a really good second run and also Hirscher" said Khoroshilov. "Many other athletes also skied really, really fast in the second run. In the start, was a little bit nervous, but right before the start I was pretty calm and I tried to ski really fast, but I think on the top I was good, but then on the bottom, maybe I got tired a little bit."

The feel-good story of the day for the host nation was the outstanding surprise performance of Ramon Zehnhaeusern, who finished a career-best seventh place, thanks to skiing the fastest second run of the entire field. His previous best World Cup finish was 19th place.

The racers were complimentary of the course as they recognized the massive effort put in by the Organizing Committee to prepare for the race as yesterday’s giant slalom was cancelled due to the tough conditions of the snow.

“When you watch, it looks like it is soft, but actually it was quite icy and hard and good conditions for me,” said Koroshilov after the first run.

The Audi FIS World Cup tour continues next week with the another classic venue in Switzerland’s Berneroberland, with a full weekend of action scheduled in Wengen, including the longest downhill on the tour, the famous Lauberhorn.