CHAMONIX, France: Clment Nol got his first World Cup win in a year on Saturday, triumphing in the penultimate slalom before the world championships.
The French skier won three slaloms in each of the last two seasons but had been waiting for another victory since prevailing in Chamonix in February.
Returning to the same course Saturday, Nol improved from third position after the opening leg as the top two lost time in similar mistakes halfway through their final runs.
On a course softened by persistent rain, first-run leader Marco Schwarz dropped to third, 0.19 seconds behind Nol, while Ramon Zenhusern remained in second and trailed by 0.16.
Schwarz had been fastest in a tight opening run, leading Zenhusern by 0.02 and Nol by 0.03.
Zenhuserns Swiss teammate Luca Aerni posted the fastest time in the final run and climbed from 29th position to fourth.
The result marked Nol’s seventh career win in his fifth season on the World Cup tour.
The French slalom specialist had his breakthrough when he claimed gold at the junior worlds in 2018, and he started winning on the top level at the iconic venues in Wengen and Kitzbhel the following year.
Schwarz, who leads the discipline standings ahead of Sebastian Foss-Solevg of Norway, was on the podium in seven of this seasons eight slaloms and remained the only skier to have won more than once.
His Austrian teammate Manuel Feller, who previously led the slalom standings, failed to finish for a second straight race. Feller earned his first career win in Flachau two weeks ago but has recorded a 17th place and two DNFs since.
Overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault finished 0.89 behind in eighth. Schwarz climbed to second place in the standings, trailing the Frenchman by 266 points.
Henrik Kristoffersen, who won the slalom season title for a second time last year, continued his disappointing campaign, skiing out after a few seconds into his opening run as the Norwegian straddled the second gate.
Another slalom is scheduled for Sunday.
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