What’s better than skiing? Night skiing. What’s better than night skiing? Night slalom.
The frenetic week of World Cup action leading into the holiday continues under the lights as the second slalom race in as many days will kick off from the start gate of Madonna di Campiglio in Northern Italy in the early evening Tuesday.
The first men’s slalom of the World Cup season did not disappoint Monday as Swiss slalom specialist Ramon Zenhaeusern took the top of the podium at Alta Badia after creating just a fraction of distance punching down the hill in his second run.
The 2018 Olympic silver medalist in the discipline was sitting 8th place after the first run but let his skis run fast in a gutty performance capturing a victory during his first race of the young season.
“I was a bit nervous, being this my first race of the season, he said from the podium. “It’s great to see that I have a good level, and I am looking forward to racing again tomorrow in Campiglio.”
Zenhaeusern (+800 on BetMGM) may have a tough time repeating the trick as there are a couple of Austrians who showed Monday they have something to say this year in the event.
Surprise 2nd and 3rd Finishes for Austrians
Manuel Feller (+1600), who started with bib 26 Monday, finished the first run in 13th place and closed that distance mightily with a second-place finish Monday. Just .08 seconds behind Zenhaeusern.
It was the first podium since March 2019 for Feller: “It’s the most emotional moment of my career,” he said. “I had a very hard season last year, and it feels so amazing to see again the green light after crossing the finish line.”
Feller’s teammate Marco Schwarz (+800) came in only .04 seconds behind Feller for third. Schwarz also was out of contention in 10th place after the first run, and he climbed back from 10th position in run two as the twenty-five-year-old ended up with his sixth overall World Cup Podium.
Italy’s Vinatzer Might Find the Podium on Home Snow, American Rookie Makes World Cup Debut
Italy’s Alex Vinatzer (+350) may strike again on homes now Tuesday as he was in the lead Monday after one run and was onto a solid second run, but was, in the end, outshined.
Three Americans also got their start to the season, including 2019 NCAA Slalom Champion Jett Seymour (field), who made his World Cup debut.
Though no Americans ended up in the top 30 after the season’s first event, coach Ryan Wilson says the team has potential. “Ben [Ritchie] approached the day with confidence and skied well. He was loose and fast before he went out. That’s my highlight of the day. He showed he’s got the speed to hang.”
Seymour, along with teammate Luke Winters finished but did not qualify for a second run on Monday.