Schladming, Austria – Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway scored his fourth straight Audi FIS World Cup slalom victory in electrifying fashion under the lights of Schladming on Tuesday night in front of more than 50,000 screaming fans. Kristoffersen won over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, with last year’s Schladming winner, Alexander Khoroshilov of Russia finishing third.
Kristoffersen overcame a 1.10-second first-run deficit to extend his overall World Cup slalom lead to 180 points over Hirscher.
“There was this Austrian guy in the start box shouting, ‘Ah, Marcel is still in the lead!’ so that was a little annoying,” said Kristoffersen. “With the way I’m skiing at the moment, I knew that if I skied OK without too many big mistakes, it would be possible. It was really bumpy, but the bottom part was actually pretty good, I could ski normally there, but the top was really rutted. I knew I had to push it the whole way.”
Hirscher kept the Austrian fans on their toes, struggling through the first run with a goggle issue and finishing 20th. However, with clear goggles second run, he turned on the afterburners to win the second run by almost a full second and climb the ladder to take second.
“It was a completely aggressive run,” said Hirscher. “I decided that it would be better to not finish than ending up with two points for example. I gave my complete maximum to ski in the second run. Conditions were a bit challenging today and that helped me as well to make it possible. It is just a really big present I got today.”
With his second-place points, Hirscher moved into the overall World Cup lead by 53 points over Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who is out for the rest of the season following successful knee surgery last weekend after crashing in the downhill at Kitzbuehel. Kristoffersen is now third overall, just 98 points back.
Germany’s Felix Neureuther won the first run and was well on his way to a podium result – leading by 0.30 seconds midway through the second run. However, he missed a gate and did not finish.
Crested Butte, Colo.’s David Chodounsky was set up perfectly for another top result. “I came out firing up top and felt pretty good, then down at the bottom, I don’t know if I just tightened up a little bit or what. I just didn’t ski well,” said Chodounsky, who was fifth after the first run, but finished 11th. “I’m having great first runs … and one of these times I’m going to put two of them together and it’s going to be pretty sweet.”
Up next, the men’s World Cup circuit moves to Garmisch, Germany Jan. 30-31 with downhill and super G.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Schladming, Austria – Jan. 26, 2016
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