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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Chamonix Slalom Race Preview

The Alpine Ski World Cup - Kandahar returns to the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley on the Verte des Houches with a Slalom event (after the cancelation of the two scheduled Downhills) on February 4th.

Chamonix hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, and in 1937 the World Championships were held on the pistes of Les Houches.

The Kandahar event has been part of the valley’s history. Created in 1928, it was the first international alpine competition to combine Downhill and Slalom events. The Arlberg Kandahar takes place successively at St. Anton (Austria), Garmisch Partenkirschen (Germany), and, since 1948, at Chamonix Mont Blanc in France.

The first World Cup Race took place in Chamonix in 1968. After a 4 year break, the World Cup returned in 2020 to the city of Mont Blanc.

Chamonix (FRA)

February 4th Slalom / Men 1st run 09:30 / 2nd run 12:30 CET

FIS celebrates its 100th anniversary this weekend. The International Ski Federation (Fédération Internationale de Ski, FIS) was founded on February 2, 1924, in Chamonix, France during the 1924 Semaine internationale des Sports d’hiver in Chamonix 

In 2020 Clement Noel became the first French man to win the Slalom in Chamonix.

Timon Haugan (+0.21) from Norway was second and Adrian Pertl of Austria third (+0.31).

In 2021 Clément Noël claimed victory in the first of two Slalom events held in Chamonix.

Ramon Zenhaeusern finished 0.16 seconds behind the French skier.

Marco Schwarz finished in the third position just +0.19 seconds behind Noël.

The following day, Henrik Kristoffersen achieved his second World Cup victory of the season in the second Slalom organized in Chamonix.

The conditions once again were an advantage to the Swiss, who finished with Ramon Zenhaeursern in second place 0.28 back and Sandro Simonet in third 0.66 off the winning pace.

Simonet, who barely made it into the second run finishing in 30th place, made up 27 positions in the second run after setting the best time to finish in third place. It was his first World Cup podium.

Last season, after more than two years, -his last win was in December 2020 in Alta Badia-, Ramon Zenhäusern was back on top of the podium. He set the second best time in the first run and was the only one of the top riders who also managed a flawless performance on the "Verte des Houches" in the second one.

AJ Ginnis and Daniel Yule rounded up the podium.

Manuel Feller secured the fourth Austrian victory in the fourth Slalom race of the season in Wengen. It's his fifth World Cup victory and his third one of the season after winning in Gurgl and Adelboden. He finished fifth (Madonna di Campiglio) and fourth (Kitzbühel) in the other races. Feller's 4th position in the Hahnenkamm consolidates him as leader of the Slalom World Cup classification with 395 points.

The 31-year-old Austrian skier became the first man to win four World Cup Slalom races in a single season since Clément Noël and Daniel Yule both won three events in 2019-2020. Feller can become the first man to win four World Cup Slalom races in a single season since Marcel Hirscher won five in the 2018-2019 winter season.

Austria won only one of the 12 Men's World Cup Slalom races held in Chamonix: a victory by Thomas Sykora in January 1997.

Linus Straßer won the last two Slalom races in Kitzbühel and Schladming. He has won nine times in Slalom in the World Cup.

Straßer has won as many World Cup Slalom races in 2024 (2) as in his previous 10 years in the World Cup combined (2, 2014-2023). He is fourth-most among German skiers in Slalom wins behind Felix Neureuther (11), Armin Bittner (7), and Christian Neureuther (6).

The 31-year-old German skier became the first German to achieve the double of Kitzbühel and Schladming. Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen was the last one to achieve the double in 2016.

Before Strasser, the last German skier to record back-to-back Slalom World Cup wins was Armin Bittner, in January 1990.

Straßer could become the first male skier representing Germany to win three consecutive World Cup Slalom events.

Five of the six men's World Cup slalom races in the 2023-2024 winter season have been won by Manuel Feller (3) or Linus Straßer (2). The other one was won by Marco Schwarz in Madonna di Campiglio on December 22, 2023.

Kristoffer Jakobsen achieved last Sunday in Kitzbühel his third World Cup Slalom podium. He claimed his previous two podiums in Val d'Isère and Madonna di Campiglio in December 2021.

This season he failed to finish the first run of the three previous Slalom races. He finished in 11th position in the Slalom opener in Gurgl.

The last Swede to claim a slalom World Cup victory was André Myhrer, in Aspen in March 2017.

Daniel Yule finished in third position in the Ganslernhang in Kitzbühel. It's his first season podium and the first one in the discipline for the Swiss Team. The last time he finished on the Top-3 was on February 2, 2023, in Chamonix.

Atle Lie McGrath DNF in the last Slalom race in Kitzbühel.

He finished in second place behind Feller in two World Cup Slalom races, missing out on the victory by a small margin in Adelboden (+0.02 seconds) and Wengen (+0.10). The last skier to finish second in at least three Slalom

races was Clément Noël (3) in 2020-2021.

He was back on the podium again after recovering from a second ACL operation in February 2023. He claimed his two career World Cup slalom victories in March 2022 (back-to-back wins in Flachau and Courchevel).

Dave Ryding finished in third place in Madonna di Campiglio. It's his 7th podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup. Ryding became in Italy the second-oldest man to record a World Cup Slalom podium finish, after Giuliano Razzoli's third place in Wengen on January 16, 2022, at 37 years and 29 days.

He finished in fourth place in the Opening Slalom in Gurgl, missing the podium by merely 0.01 seconds. 37-year-old Ryding could become the second skier (male or female) to claim a World Cup victory after turning 37. Didier Cuche claimed four Alpine Ski World Cup wins after his 37th birthday in the 2011-2012 season.

He could become the oldest man to record a World Cup Slalom podium finish.

Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place in the Slalom standings and won the Slalom gold medal at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel. Previously the 29-year-old Norwegian had won a bronze medal in 2021 at Cortina d'Ampezzo and at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Henrik Kristoffersen has won the Slalom Crystal Globe three times (2015-2016, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022). He aims to become the fourth male alpine skier to win the Slalom Title more than three times, after Ingemar Stenmark (8), Marcel Hirscher (6), and Alberto Tomba (4).

The Norwegian was four times on the podium last season, twice in the first position: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Wengen.

Kristoffersen, with 51 podiums, including 23 wins in this discipline, is in fourth position in the ranking of most podiums in Slalom. Only three other men have won more podium finishes in World Cup Slalom events than Kristoffersen: Ingemar Stenmark (81), Marcel Hirscher (65), and Alberto Tomba (57).

Kristoffersen can become this season the second male skier to achieve at least one World Cup victory in 11 consecutive seasons after Alberto Tomba did so from 1987-1988 to 1997-1998.

Clement Noël finished in third place in Schladmng achieving his second podium of the season. Previously he has finished in second position in the Night Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio. The Olympic Champion in Beijing celebrated his 22nd World Cup podium in Slalom.

Ramon Zenhäusern finished in third place in the Slalom standings. He won the last race of the 2022-2023 winter season in Soldeu, Andorra. It's his third podium and second win of last season. After more than two years, he has won the Slalom event at the "Verte des Houches" piste in Chamonix. He won two Slalom World Cup events in a single season for the first time.

He missed his first Slalom race in 11 years last Sunday in Kitzbühel due to his sore back.

Two-time Junior World Champion Alexander Steen Olsen won a thrilling Slalom at Palisades Tahoe last season. But the 22-year-old Norwegian had to endure a long wait to celebrate his first career World Cup victory. Only after minutes of deliberation and the subsequent disqualification of the AJ Ginnis, -the officials determined the Greek skier straddled a gate-, the Norwegian was the winner.

AJ Ginnis finished second in the Men's slalom World Cup event in Chamonix on February 4th. He can become the first Greek winner of a World Cup event in any Olympic winter sport. The most recent countries to win their first World Cup event in Alpine Skiing both achieved this in the men's Slalom event: Kalle Palander for Finland (Kitzbühel, January 2003) and Dave Ryding for Great Britain (Kitzbühel, January 2022).

He won the Slalom silver medal at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel.

Dominik Raschner recorded a World Cup podium in the Slalom for the first time in Adelboden. Previously two 16th places - in Adelboden and Kitzbühel in 2022 - were his best results in Slalom. His only World Cup podium was in the Parallel discipline in Lech-Zürs in 2021.

Timon Haugan, finished in second position in Schladming to confirm is one of the most consistent Slalom skiers in the World Cup this season. Until Kitzbühel, DNF2, Timon Haugan, 6th in Gurgl, 4th in Madonna di Campiglio, 9th in Adelboden, and 9th in Wengen, was the only skier besides Manuel Feller to have finished inside the Top-10 in all Slalom World Cup races this season.


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