Norway’s Alexander Sten Olsen celebrates his first World Cup victory in the United States. The Swiss get nothing.
- 1. Alexander Steen Olsen (North) 1:47.46 minutes
- 2. Timon Haugan (NOR) +0.05sec
- 3. Albert Popov (BUL) +0.24.24.24
- 3. Clement Noel (France) +0.24
After a long wait at last, it’s official: Greece’s AJ Ginnis has been disqualified – after all drivers with the fastest time – due to a merger shortly before the end of his run. Thus, 21-year-old Alexander Sten Olsen celebrated his first victory in the World Cup. With this victory, the oft-touted super talent finally established itself on top of the world.
The Norwegian, who was still in twelfth place after the first heat, coped well with the difficult conditions in Palisades Tahoe and outpaced Albert Popov, who was leading at the time, 24 percent off the lead. Behind Sten Olsen, compatriot Timon Haugan surprisingly got a Norwegian one and two.
In addition to the Norwegians, the story of the day was written by Bulgarian Albert Popov. On the course set by his trainer, he improved his running best with a total of 22 places to finish third. It’s the first World Cup podium of the 25-year-old’s career, who capitalized on an early start number in Heat 2 in the Palisades Tahoe snowstorm, which was getting worse from rider to rider. Popov shared third place with Clement Noel, who lost 89 percent to the winner after taking a halftime lead in the second round.
- 6. Ramon Sennhauser +0.45 seconds
- 21. Luke Millard +1.25
- 24. Daniel Yuli +1.52
- Not in Race Two: Luca Erne (37), Tanguy Neve (41), Marc Rochat (DNF), Sandro Simonet (DNF), Fadri Janotin (DNF), Noel von Groningen (DNF)
The Swiss did not manage to avenge the World Cup slalom disappointment. Due to costly mistakes in the final segment, Ramon Zenhousen fell behind eventual winner Alexander Steen-Olsen (NOR) and finished sixth as the best Swiss. For a long time before, it looked as if Valais could take the lead. Loïc Meillard fared much worse in the second round. Sixth at half-time did not cope well with the poor visibility and dropped 17 places.
Daniel Jol, who finished the race as the worst Swiss in points, missed out on the best pole position. Valais lost 23 places in the second half, as it was second in the first half. For the 30-year-old, the next setback came after the World Cup.
Meanwhile, 6 of the 9 Swiss athletes who started in the second round did not qualify. Luca Aerni in No. 35 and Tanguy Nef in No. 38 both built a lot of security in their runs and lost a lot of time in the tight field. The remaining drivers were already eliminated on the way to the finish.
Four Swiss in the World Cup final
With only the top 25 athletes in each discipline qualifying for the World Cup finals in Andorra, shaky favorite Ernie’s season came to an end after the penultimate slalom. The 29-year-old – ahead of Sunday’s 25th World Cup Slalom race – is back up to 26th after his zero behind Samuel Colega. So Switzerland will be represented at Soldeu by four slalom drivers: Daniel Jol, Loic Millard, Ramon Zenhausler and Marc Rochat.
A bitter homage to Jenis
AJ Ginnis almost went on to write Greek Ski Fiction. The climber of the season was disqualified after a minute-long discussion by the judging panel at the end, having already finished the race with the fastest time. So, Genis, who achieved his first World Cup podium this season and won the silver world championship, still has to wait for his first victory.
The World Cup caravan is staying in the US for another week. A quick weekend with two downhill runs and a Super-G is on the program in Aspen March 3-5. Meanwhile, the pure slalom specialists won’t compete again until the World Cup final in Andorra on March 19.
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