Braathen stuns field to win Wengen slalom

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Norway’s Lucas Braathen recorded an astonishing history-making victory in the men’s World Cup slalom in Wengen on Sunday as first-leg pole-sitter Henrik Kristoffersen bombed out.

The 21-year-old Braathen, whose sole previous victory came in this season’s giant slalom opener in Soelden, was lying a distant 29th after the first run, more than two seconds off his teammate.

But he held nothing back on the second leg, clocking 48.17sec, almost 1sec faster than the rest of the field.

His combined time of 1min 41.48sec was 0.22sec faster than second-placed Swiss Daniel Yule, with Italy’s Giuliano Razzoli in third (+0.29).

“Wengen is one of my favorite places on earth to ski,” said Braathen, calling his result “amazing”. Braathen’s time marked the largest jump for victory in the second run ever in the men’s slalom, bettering Swiss racer Marc Berthod’s win in Adelboden in 2007 after he finished 27th in the first leg.

His jump of 28 places also bested the previous biggest leap of 27 held jointly by Swede Mattias Hargin and Switzerland’s Sandro Simonet who both finished third after coming in 30th in their opening runs in Zagreb in 2011 and Chamonix last year re-spectively.

Braathen’s teammate Kristoffersen had set the pace on the first run, at 51.27sec, closely followed by Austrian Manuel Feller and Norwegian world champion Sebastian Foss-Solevaag.

But their time advantages were quickly eaten away on the second run, Feller and Foss-Solevaag eventually finishing fifth and sixth, while Kristof-fersen skied out close to the bottom.

Foss-Solvaag tops the slalom standings ahead of Yule and Braathen, while Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt sits atop the overall standings on 1,075 points, well ahead of second-placed Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (685).—APP

 

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