Kristoffersen wins Alta Badia giant slalom ahead of Odermatt


Austria's Manuel Feller speeds up the course during an Alpine Skiing Men's World Cup Giant Slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, Sunday, December 19, 2021 (AP Photo / Alessandro Trovati)

Austria’s Manuel Feller speeds up the course during an Alpine Skiing Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, Sunday, December 19, 2021 (AP Photo / Alessandro Trovati)

PA

A slightly different waxing or a little sharper ski edges can make all the difference in a sport decided down to the hundredth of a second.

The same goes for a slight modification of ski boots.

Just ask Henrik Kristoffersen, the Norwegian who won his first World Cup giant slalom race in two years on Sunday with a new setup.

“It was a fight last year. So we found something,” Kristoffersen said. “You see today that anything is possible. I’m not saying I’ll win all the races, but now we have it. opportunity to ski well in every race.

What exactly has Kristoffersen changed?

“I can’t tell you,” he said.

Either way, the confidence Kristoffersen suddenly regained helped him move up from seventh place after stage one to win one of the toughest GS races on the circuit, on the course from Gran Risa to Alta Badia. .

Kristoffersen’s last GS victory also came on the Gran Risa in 2019 on his way to the one-season discipline title.

“But the course has been shortened for this race,” he said of 2019. “So it’s the first real win here.”

Kristoffersen finished 0.31 seconds ahead of overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt and 0.37 ahead of Austria’s Manuel Feller.

While he won the first two GS races of the season, Odermatt was content to finish second, especially after competing in the super-G in Val Gardena, and with another GS scheduled for the Gran Risa on Monday.

“Two days of GS is really tough,” said Odermatt. “It’s one of the most grueling giant slaloms on the circuit, and having two (it’s tough).”

Round one leader Mathieu Faivre struggled on his second run on the twisty course and finished 16th, despite one of his French coaches establishing the second round.

It was Krisoffersen’s 24th World Cup career victory, putting him ahead of teammate Kjetil Jansrud and former Swiss Michael von Grünigen tied for 16th on the all-time list with the great Italian Gustav Thöni.

Kristoffersen has 19 wins in the slalom and now five in the giant slalom.

American runner River Radamus equaled his career best result by finishing sixth, though he crossed the finish line on his first run in a deep crouch, barely keeping track as he lost control and then was spinning in the finish area. He was fourth after the first leg.

Radamus, 23, won three gold medals at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games and four medals (two gold and two silver) at the world junior championships.

“I love this hill and finishing sixth here is huge for me. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, ”Radamus said. “I take the points, take the result and keep moving forward.”

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Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf



Naomi C. Amerson