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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Manuel Feller Clinches Alpine Ski World Cup Slalom Crystal Globe

Manuel Feller. Gurgl Slalom winner 2023
Manuel Feller. Picture: Ski Paradise

Austrian skier Manuel Feller secured the Slalom Crystal Globe after next Saturday's race in Kranjska Gora was canceled because heavy rain destroyed the slope at the Slovenian ski resort. It´s his first World Cup Slalom title.

With only one Slalom left in the World Cup Finals in Saalbach, Feller's 169-point lead over Linus Strasser is insurmountable.

"It’s amazing, but at the moment it’s a little bit hard to recognize – everybody wanted it decided on the slope, but the advantage over Linus was pretty high. But still, in Slalom, anything can happen. You can say the opportunity was taken from Linus, but you can also say that the emotions were taken from me. But it's probably deserved. Four wins, in the top five in every race. The lead over Strasser is also big, so I don’t think there is any discussion," Feller said.

Manuel Feller finished inside the Top-5 in all nine Men's World Cup Slalom events this season, including four victories in Gurgl, Adelboden, Wengen, and Palisades Tahoe. He is the first man to win four World Cup Slalom events in a single season since Marcel Hirscher won five times in 2018-2019.

31-year-old Manuel Feller became the oldest winner of the Slalom Crystal Globe on the men's side since Ivica Kostelic won in 2010-2011 at the same age.

It’s Feller’s biggest career achievement after winning the silver medal in Slalom at the 2017 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Before now the closest he came to winning a World Cup Crystal Globe was in 2021-2022 when he finished runner-up in the Slalom standings 90 points behind Henrik Kristoffersen.

"The key has been already built up step-by-step over the years. We've been working on some things that have gotten better and better over the years. My stable upper body and of course routine were a big point over the years and this season. And of course, the material has been working amazingly. Both my serviceman Richie Weissenbacher and also my company Atomic have done a really good job. I changed my skis before Gurgl and that was probably one of the biggest keys to this amazing success", Feller added.

"I’m most proud that I didn’t give up over the years, looking back ten years ago when I had my first back injury. There was pain for close to a year, not getting better over half of a year, and then just little steps. I want to thank myself for not giving up, always believing in myself, always continuing to push myself, and always continuing to try to get better and better. I learned with every turn, I learned with every race, I learned with every year and finally routine was probably the key to this success,” he said.

Austria has won the Slalom World Cup Crystal Globe 17 times. The last time Austria won the Men’s Slalom World Cup standings was in the 2020-2021 winter season when Marco Schwarz clinched the World Cup Slalom title. Feller etches his name in the record book alongside other Slalom title victors from his country: Marcel Hirscher (6), Benjamin Raich (2), Thomas Sykora (2), Reinfried Herbst (1), Rainer Schoenfelder (1), Thomas Stangassinger (1) and Alfred Matt (1).

"It was a dream season for Manuel, a deserving Crystal Globe winner with incredible consistency and mental strength. You have to take your hat off to his development. From a broken skier with back problems to one of the most consistent slalom drivers at the moment. He’s fast, smart, and an incredible guy as a person. Manuel is extremely important for skiing, which is why he is valued everywhere," Austria Men's head coach Marko Pfeifer said to ORF.


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