Alpine Skiing

Ramon Zenhaeusern wins first slalom of new season at Alta Badia

Olympic silver medallist moves up from eighth to first on the second run to edge out Austrian duo Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz in South Tyrol.

By Rory Jiwani ·

Ramon Zenhaeusern claimed victory in the first slalom of the season in Alta Badia on Monday (21 December).

Switzerland's Olympic silver medallist from PyeongChang 2018 rose from eighth after the first run to take his fifth World Cup victory and his second in slalom.

He won by just eight-hundredths of a second from Manuel Feller with another member of Austria's silver medal-winning team in PyeongChang, Marco Schwarz, just 0.04s further back.

Zenhaeusern told FIS afterwards, "It was so tight after the first run and I had to push full-on. I gave everything and it worked.

"I was really really nervous on the days before because I haven't raced for nearly 11 months. It shows that all the work pays off."

The contenders for victory had to contend with sub-optimal conditions for the second run with rising air temperatures softening the snow and causing ruts in the surface.

Alex Vinatzer failed to convert his first-run lead into a first World Cup win, the 21-year-old Italian finishing just outside the podium spots in fourth ahead of France's Victor Muffat-Jeandet.

Last season's slalom Crystal Globe winner Henrik Kristoffersen was fifth after the first run but struggled on the second and ended up sixth.

After his giant slalom victory yesterday, Alexis Pinturault was 11th to extend his overall World Cup lead over Aleksander Aamodt Kilde to 25 points.

His French team-mate Clement Noel had a miserable start to his bid for the slalom Crystal Globe, falling on the first run and making it to the finish more than five seconds off the pace.

Kristoffer Jakobsen lay only 29th after the first run but the Swede was quickest on the second descent and finished 12th after a succession of skiers failed to beat his aggregate time.

The men now head to nearby Madonna di Campiglio for a night-time slalom on Tuesday.

Zenhaeusern said, "I've never raced well at Madonna di Campiglio, but it's always a nice race in the evening and I'm really looking forward to it."