Lucas Braathen Shines in a Thrilling Slalom in Val d'Isère
The 22-year-old Norwegian has won the first Slalom of the season held in Val d'Isére. Second in the first run, he clinched victory after a dream second run, setting the best time despite the degrading conditions of the Face de Bellevarde racecourse.
It's Braathen's third victory and sixth podium in the World Cup. Lucas Braathen had won in Val d'Isère in the Giant Slalom his first World Cup points 4 years ago.
It's his second win and third podium in the discipline. He won the Slalom in Wengen on January, and finished in second place in Kitzbühel.
"It's an amazing feeling right now. I'll admit I've had a great pre-season, to be able to deliver what I've been delivering in practice today at the race was simply amazing. I love this place so to be here on the top of the podium today is just magical", Braathen said.
Manuel Feller finished in second place, +0.84 seconds behind the Norwegian. It's his 12th podium in the discipline and his 16th in the World Cup.
The Tirolean repeats his position on the podium after finishing yesterday also in second position in the Giant Slalom. It's the third time the 30-year-old skier finished on the podium in Val d'Isère after his third place in the Giant Salom last season.
Feller was happy simply to have made it to the finish line of the Face de Bellevarde course, where he had not finished the last five slalom races (DNF in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2021). In 2012 he finished in a discreet 23rd place.
"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. 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", Feller said.
Loïc Meillard finished in third place +0.98 seconds back. It's his 10th podium in the World Cup the third one in the Slalom.
Meillard gave the Swiss Men's Team their first podium finish in the first slalom of the season. He finished in fifth in the first run, but with a solid second run he move up two places and sneak onto the podium. It's the first time a Swiss finished on the podium in Val d'Isère in Slalom.
"I am relived. I had the feeling that I would be fourth again. Skiing was a bit easier in the second run than in the first run, you could accelerate a little more. I thought, don't think too much, just drive aggressively. It is an optimal start to the winter season", said Loïc Meillard.