It was a foggy day in Adelboden, Switzerland as the World Cup skiers prepared to race in only their fourth slalom race this year. Weather has been quite a factor in the lives of skiers who only compete in technical events considering they already lost a slalom race in Levi and yesterday a giant slalom race right here in Adelboden.
Alexander Khoroshilov started the first run posting an impressive time of 55.21 that kept him in the first position until the remainder of the first run. Only four skiers managed to get within a second of Khoroshilov’s time. Marcel Hirscher trailed just by 0.24 seconds, while the World Cup Slalom leader Henrik Kristoffersen has posted the third result of the run 0.32 seconds behind. Fritz Dopfer and Alexis Pinturault were the remaining two in the top five. Last year’s Adelboden Slalom winner Stefano Gross skied into the eight position, quite far from the result he managed to score last year. But not all the contenders managed to get to the top. Mattias Hargin failed to ski through one of the gates and without noticing he finished the run and was later disqualified. Reigning World Champion Jean-Baptiste Grange also failed to finish the race, adding another disappointment to his mediocre season this year.
Second run saw some skiers improving their position greatly and some ruining it completely. Julien Lizeroux, French veteran, who after a disappointing first run managed to leap from 23th to 11th position. But the biggest leaps of the second run were by the two youngsters Ramon Zenhäusern and Manuel Feller, who both managed to score a top ten result. Another Austrian youngster on the other hand managed to completely ruin his position after a good first run. Starting from the 14th position he achieved in the previous round, he spoiled his chances for another great result and fell into the 23th position.
The race was getting close to the end, starting with Gross, who managed to be the first skier to beat Zenhäusern’s time, only by 0.02 seconds. Gross stayed on top for a few more minutes as Sebastian Foss Solevåg and Felix Neureuther failed to beat his time. Next on the start was Pinturault. He has had quite an inconsistent season so far, yet this time managed to come in the finish area with a green light and scored himself his first top-five slalom placing this season. Despite Dopfer failing to ski well on the second run and only finishing sixth, Pinturault did not stay in the lead for long. Kristoffersen once again showed his incredible slalom skills and mental strength at just 21 years coming in the finish area with 0.89 seconds of lead in front of Pinturault. Despite Kristoffersen’s huge lead nothing was set in stone yet, as his arguably biggest rival was still at the start. Hirscher started with 0.08 seconds of advantage and quickly expanded the lead, but sadly for his fans managed to lose every bit of the lead he had and finished on the second place just 0.06 behind the talented youngster. It was Khoroshilov’s turn to decide if we’re about to witness another win in Kristoffersen’s young but remarkable career or if he will ski himself to his second World Cup win. Like just a few days ago in Santa Caterina, Khoroshilov couldn’t keep up the pressure and finished in the third position behind the mighty impressive Kristoffersen and Hirscher, who have managed to finish first and second in every slalom race this season and Adelboden was no exception.