Kristoffersen wins slalom, ends Hirscher's winning streak

Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, center, winner of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, poses with second placed Austria's Marcel Hirscher, left, and third placed Switzerland's Daniel Yule, in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen celebrates after winning an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
Austria's Marcel Hirscher speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Shinichiro Tanaka)
Switzerland's Daniel Yule reacts after completing an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway finally won his first World Cup slalom of the season Sunday, ending Marcel Hirscher's five-race winning streak.

Carrying a 1.05-second lead over his Austrian rival from the opening run, Kristoffersen lost only 0.08 of his advantage in a wild second run in dense snowfall to claim his first victory of the season and 16th overall.

He narrowly avoided skiing out twice, and after crossing the finish he punched his chest with his right fist and fell on his back to celebrate the victory. It was his first since triumphing at another Austrian resort, Schladming, a year ago.

"It's really cool," Kristoffersen said. "The first run was really good. In the second run I was on the limit. I made some mistakes here and there but I just tried to keep going."

Kristoffersen set a World Cup record earlier this season by getting podiums in the first six slaloms without winning a race.

Continuing their slalom rivalry from past seasons into next month's Pyeongchang Olympics, Kristoffersen was runner-up to Hirscher in five races this season, including three giant slaloms. Ending that series at a race in Austria made it special, said the Norwegian, who resides in Salzburg.

"We have no slalom races in Norway so this feels like a home race for me," said Kristoffersen, who also won in Kitzbuehel two years ago. "Today was definitely a great feeling."

Not satisfied with his opening leg, Hirscher called his second run "acceptable."

"In training the last few days I felt that it would not go as smooth as in recent weeks," the Austrian said. "This was the maximum I could get out of this race. I am happy with 80 points. Henrik was a class better, he deserved the win today."

Daniel Yule of Switzerland was 1.35 behind in third for his first career podium, while the rest of the field finished more than 2.2 seconds off the lead.

"If I could have chosen any place for my first podium, Kitzbuehel would be high on the list," Yule said. "And I am the first human today after those two aliens, Henrik and Marcel. They are skiing at such a high level."

Britain's Dave Ryding, who finished runner-up to Hirscher last year for his career best result, trailed by 2.89 seconds in 25th after the opening run but posted the fastest time in the final leg to improve to ninth place.

Hirscher's Austrian teammate Michael Matt, who was second after the opening run, passed a gate at the wrong side and did not finish. Eight of the 30 racers who qualified for the second leg failed to complete their final run.

Earlier, many starters struggled in tough first-run conditions after overnight snowfall. On a difficult course set by his coach Jani Hladnik, Russia's Alexander Khoroshilov straddled a gate and failed in his bid to improve his slalom ranking ahead of the Olympics.

Hirscher needed a win to match Hermann Maier's Austrian record of 54 men's World Cup victories. Only Swedish standout Ingemar Stenmark (86) won more races.

Still leading the standings by 154 points over Kristoffersen, Hirscher remained on course for an unprecedented seventh overall title. Their slalom duel will continue at a night race in Schladming on Tuesday.

Must Read

Shiffrin wins WCup slalom, extends winning streak...

Jan 9, 2018

Olympic slalom champion Shiffrin wins night slalom, extends 2018 winning streak to record 5 races

Italian skier Marsaglia leads World Cup downhill...

Jan 18, 2018

Italian skier Marsaglia leads final training for World Cup downhill on shortened Streif course

Sports minister apologizes to Kristoffersen for...

Jan 24, 2018

Austrian minister of sports apologizes to skier Henrik Kristoffersen for snowballs thrown at him...

Chelsea beats Qarabag 4-0, reaches Champions...

Nov 22, 2017

Chelsea swept into the knockout stage of the Champions League with a game to spare by beating...

Freestyle skiers from Belarus looking for more...

Feb 8, 2018

The lessons learned from the vaunted Soviet gymnastics program all those years ago are still...

People also read these

Hirscher needs 15 weeks to recover, missing ski...

Aug 18, 2017

Marcel Hirscher will need up to 15 weeks to recover from a broken left ankle, ruling the six-time...

Serbia loss gives Wales and Ireland fresh hope in...

Oct 6, 2017

Serbia has failed to clinch a World Cup berth in Vienna and has lost to Austria instead, giving...

Martins Dukurs takes European skeleton title with...

Dec 15, 2017

Latvian slider Martins Dukurs won the European skeleton title for a third straight year by earning...

Stoch wins 3rd straight 4 Hills Tour stop,...

Jan 4, 2018

Polish ski jumper Stoch wins 3rd straight stop of 4 Hills Tour, Germany's Freitag crashes

Women's World Cup ski races doubtful due to...

Jan 12, 2018

Women's World Cup ski races in Austria doubtful due to weakened course after rain, mild temperatures

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales@sportsclubcom.com

Subscribe Now!