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‘Magical’ victory for Braathen as Norway’s slalom dominance


While Braathen wanted to go back up the mountain after the race, second-placed Feller was happy just to have made it to the bottom of the Face de Bellevarde piste, where he had registered five consecutive slalom DNFs heading into Sunday’s race.

“It’s more like a hate and love place combined because I think this was my second finish in slalom over all of the years,” Feller said.

“I was just finishing in my second World Cup race (23rd place in 2012), my first time here, and then always DNF. So that was also the reason why I didn’t risk everything in the second run.”

He risked enough to cap off a stellar weekend which also saw him finish second in Saturday’s giant slalom behind Swiss star Marco Odermatt.

Meillard came from fifth after the first run to move up two places and sneak onto the podium after Kristoffersen’s wild second run, while Sweden’s Kristoffer Jakobsen finished fourth from a bib number of 20 and home favourite Alexis Pinturault was fifth.

On a steep course topped with fresh overnight snow, first-run straddles ended the hopes of several contenders, including McGrath, Olympic slalom champion Clement Noël (FRA) and Olympic slalom silver medallist Johannes Strolz (AUT).

Some less established skiers enjoyed encouraging results, however, led by 23-year-old Italian Tobias Kastlunger, who came from a start number of 67 to finish 10th and register the first World Cup points of his career.

Skiing fifth in the second run, Kastlunger claimed the provisional lead after recording what would be the second-fastest time of the run behind only Braathen, and then made himself comfortable in the leader’s chair while the next 11 skiers failed to dislodge him.

“Seeing the green light was a great feeling,” Kastlunger said. “It was really great in the red (leader’s) seat and maybe next time again,” he laughed.

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