(Adelboden) Manuel Feller denied the young Norwegian team another victory in Adelboden in a World Cup slalom and extended Austria’s invincibility in the discipline this season on Sunday.
Feller beat Atle Lie McGrath by just two hundredths of a second, after starting the second descent in fifth place.
The leader after the first descent, Norwegian Alexander Steen Olsen, then fell seconds after starting a potentially decisive descent in rapidly fading light and falling snow.
“I told myself that these young Norwegian skiers were going all out,” noted Feller, one of the most charismatic skiers with his mustache and pointed beard. So I went a little further to the limit. »
His compatriot Domink Raschner completed the top 3, 23 hundredths behind Feller, even if he could not do better than the 16th fastest time during the first descent.
Sitting in the leader’s seat, Feller shouted excitedly when he saw that McGrath crossed the finish line with a slight delay, having lost a lead of 25 hundredths at the final intermediate.
McGrath smiled and pointed at his opponent. He later told Austrian broadcaster ORF that if he had to lose a race by such a small margin, he was happy it was to his good friend Feller.
McGrath finished second at Adelboden for a second consecutive time, having been beaten by teammate and friend Lucas Braathen a year ago.
The 23-year-old Braathen is out for the entire season due to a dispute with the Norwegian Ski Federation over his individual commercial rights.
McGrath said he had been in contact with Braathen, who will not compete this season, although his smile suggests Braathen has not retired and will resume his career.
Canadian Erik Read had the best result, 20th, 2.19 seconds behind the winner.
Austria has won all three men’s slaloms this season. Feller kicked off hostilities in Gurgl, Austria, and Marco Schwarz followed with a triumph in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
Feller is now fourth in the overall World Cup standings, led by two-time defending champion Marco Odermatt, who is not competing in the slaloms. Odermatt won the giant slalom on Saturday in equally difficult conditions.
Feller’s fifth career World Cup victory, all in slalom, propelled him to the top of the discipline’s standings throughout the season, ahead of Schwarz. Schwarz’s season ended last month due to a downhill fall. He was leading the overall World Cup standings.
The fog that also affected visibility on Saturday – where Norway had five skiers in the top 10 in giant slalom – was still present on the Chuenisbärgli course.
Olympic champion Clément Noël was among the skiers who failed to complete the first run, leaving the slope after less than 10 seconds. Canadians Justin Alkier and Liam Wallace also suffered the wrath of nature.
Adelboden kicked off a mid-season peak for men’s slalom skiers, who will also visit the historic sites of Wengen, Switzerland, and then Kitzbühel and Schladming, Austria, over the next 17 days.