Sebastian Foss-Solevaag picked the perfect time to peak. The Norwegian won the gold medal in today’s FIS World Ski Championship closing slalom race in his second career victory. His first big win came exactly one month ago in the World Cup slalom in Flachau.
Making the win twice as nice for Foss-Solevaag was the fact that he could share the podium with his teammate Henrik Kristoffersen, who finished in third place 0.46 seconds behind. In the middle of the Norwegian sandwich was Austrian Adrian Pertl sitting 0.21 seconds back.
Pertl’s silver finish is a fairy tale for the Austrian, who was the least recognized member on a strong Austrian tech team, with only one career World Cup podium. But today he was the star for the Austrians, finishing the first run in the lead and narrowly missing the gold medal.
Kristoffersen was perhaps the most recognizable face on today’s podium as the slalom star of past seasons. Surprisingly, today was the Norwegians first time on a World Championship podium as he can check one more accolade off his ‘to-do’ list.
Also noteworthy for Norwegian fans was that today ended a 24-year drought for the nation in the slalom World Championship as Foss-Solevaag took over the position from Tom Stiansen.
It was another day of sunny skies in Cortina, making for perfect viewing conditions, but tougher snow conditions. Knowing that the snow on the course was at its limit, the Jury already announce last night that instead of the Top 30 starting in reverse order for the second run, it would be limited to the Top 15.
The move set up a dramatic first run as the racers jockeyed to be in the all-important and exclusive Top-15. It also set up a dramatic second run, with everyone within one second of each other in the fight for the gold medal.
With todays’ slalom race the 2020 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships came to a close. Thanks to Pertl’s victory today, Austria came away as the most successful nation in the medal table with five gold medals, one silver and two bronze. The Swiss finished second in the medal hunt with three golds, one silver and five bronze medals.
Now the World Cup returns to center stage with the next stop this upcoming weekend in Bansko (BUL).