Neureuther's name added to Adelboden winners
The 2014 winner of the Adelboden giant slalom came down to the last racer as France’s Thomas Fanara was unable to overcome Felix Neureuther (GER) who earned his first-ever Adelboden title by 0.10 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Austria’s Marcel Hirscher.
Neureuther's second run was nearly flawless under challenging snow conditions. He entered the second run with only the seventh-fastest time. Neureuther’s time was only the fifth-fastest on the second run, but with most of the field trailing the leading pack by more than two seconds, Neureuther was the only skier with a strong second run within striking position to take over the lead.
“It was unreal, I tried to push so hard, it’s really crazy for me that I won today,” said an emotional Neureuther after the race. “I think it’s only the second-ever giant slalom victory of a German, so it’s historical. I never thought that I would win a giant slalom because I was always better in slalom and the guys I’m skiing against, Ligety, Pinterualt are so strong right now. It’s really the perfect day for me.”
The other German skier to win a giant slalom was Max Rieger, who took the victory in Mont Sainte Anne on 2 Maarch 1973, nearly 41 years ago.
With record high temperatures and a relatively low altitude to the Adelboden World Cup hill, organizers have spent much of the last week ensuring that there would be snow for today’s race among the unseasonably brown fields. Weather reports had the lowest course temperature overnight dropping only to a balmy six degrees.
Hirscher has made the podium in his last seven World Cup giant slalom races. The last time he missed a World Cup giant slalom podium was one year ago in Adelboden. But this year he made up for it with two solid runs that allowed him to continue his podium streak. His longest-ever run of giant slalom podiums was nine races.
Fanara finished in third place in Adelboden in 2011 and earned his second podium of the season after taking third place on home soil in Val d’Isere earlier this year.
“It was very difficult on the top I wanted to push hard. I didn’t make any mistakes but the slope was tough,” said Fanara. “This is like a game and today Felix was the best, that’s part of playing. It was a little bit of a case losing first place and winning second place all at the same time. The victory was so close, but at the same time I told myself that second place is also like a victory for today.”
It was a rough day for the Americans. Giant slalom ace Ted Ligety’s ski clipped a gate late in the second run forcing him to ski out, while teammate Bode Miller was a DNF in the first run.
Tomorrow the action stays in Adelboden with a slalom schedule for a 10:30 CET start.