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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Val d'Isère Men's Slalom Preview

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

The Men's Slalom event of the "The Critérium de la Première Neige à Val d'Isère" will be held on December 10, 2023 in La Face de Bellevarde.

December 10th Slalom 1st run 10:00 CET - 2nd run 13:00 CET

Last season Lucas Braathen 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. Manuel Feller finished in second place, +0.84 seconds behind the Norwegian. Loïc Meillard finished in third place +0.98 seconds back.

Gurgl Alpine Ski World Cup 2023. Manuel Feller, Marco Schwarz, and Michael Matt
Gurgl Alpine Ski World Cup 2023. Picture: Ötztal Tourismus / Johann Groden

Manuel Feller won the first Slalom of the 2023-2024 winter season in Gurgl. Feller tops an Austrian podium with Marco Schwarz second (+0.23) and Michael Matt third (+1.05).

Last season Feller finished in second place in Val d'Isère, +0.84 seconds behind Lucas Braathen. The Tirolean repeated his position on the podium after finishing also in second position in the Giant Slalom the day before. It's the third time the 31-year-old skier finished on the podium in Val d'Isère after his third place in the Giant Salom in 2021.

Feller could become the first Austrian skier to win consecutive Slalom World Cup races since Marcel Hirscher won two in January 2019 (Zagreb and Adelboden).

In 2023 Manuel Feller finished in fifth place in the Slalom standings.

After finishing in fifth position in the first run, Marco Schwarz rose to second position thanks to setting the best time in the decisive run. The 28-year-old all-rounder delivered an impressive demonstration of his consistency. 13 of his 20 podiums in the Alpine Ski World Cup were in the Slalom discipline. His previous podium in Slalom was a third place in 2021 in Chamonix.

Michael Matt finished in third position in Gurgl. Matt climbed up onto the podium from a 17th place in the first run. The last time he was in a World Cup podium was in Madona di Campiglio in December 2018. It's his 7th podium in Slalom in the Alpine Ski World Cup.

Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place on 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 50 podiums, including 23 wins in this discipline, is in fourth position in the ranking of most podiums in Slalom. Only three other men has won more podium finishes in World Cup Slalom events as Kristoffersen: ingemar Stenmark (81), Marcel Hirscher (65), and Alberto Tomba (57).

The 29-year-old skier has claimed 30 World Cup victories in total.

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.

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.

Daniel Yule was fourth in the Slalom standings. He won the World Cup Slalom races in Madonna di Campiglio and Kitzbühel last season, and finished third in Chamonix.

The 30-year-old Swiss skier can equal his best season 2019-2020 when he became the only Swiss man so far to win three Men's Slalom World Cup events in a single campaign.

Zenhäusern and Yule hope to become the second Swiss male skier to top the World Cup slalom standings, after Dumeng Giovanoli in 1967-1968 (the second World Cup season).

The last Swiss skier - male or female - to win the Slalom World Cup title was Vreni Schneider. She won it four consecutive times from 1991-1992 to 1994-1995.

Clement Noël won the Night Slalom in Schladming last season. The Olympic Champion in Beijing celebrated his first World Cup victory since December 2021. It's his 10th World Cup Slalom victory.

The 26-year-old French skier finished on the podium two more times last season, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and in Palisades Tahoe.

He claimed three World Cup wins on home snow, including one in Val d'Isère on December 12, 2021.

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 aclaimed winner.

AJ Ginnis finished second in the Men's slalom World Cup event in Charmonix on February 4th. He can become the first Greek winner of a World Cup event in any Olympic winter sports. 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.


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