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Noël Leads 1st Run Of World Cup Slalom Moved To Flachau

Noël Leads 1st Run Of World Cup Slalom Moved To Flachau

Clement Nol led the first run of a rare mens World Cup slalom held in Flachau as a late backup venue during the coronavirus pandemic.

FLACHAU, Austria: Manuel Feller raced through driving snow to win a World Cup slalom on Saturday after Clement Nol let a first-run lead slip away for the second straight race.

Feller rose from third fastest in the morning to edge Nol by 0.43 seconds and regain the slalom standings lead on a course named for Austrian great Hermann Maier.

Marco Schwarz was third, trailing his Austria teammate by 0.70 and a single point in the season-long standings.

Fellers first career win followed six runner-up finishes, including in two slaloms this season and a silver medal at the 2017 world championships.

Nol was a three-time winner last season, but got his first podium finish Saturday in his fifth race of this campaign. The Frenchman also wasted a first-run lead last Sunday when Schwarz won at Adelboden, Switzerland.

World Cup overall standings leader Alexis Pinturault placed ninth, rising from 20th fastest in the morning run. He extended his points lead over Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the defending overall champion, and Marco Odermatt, who do not compete in slalom.

Flachau stepped in to host its first mens slalom for nine years after two schedule changes this week.

Switzerlands signature venue Wengen was ruled out on Monday from hosting its storied Lauberhorn meeting this weekend after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases likely caused by British tourists.

Kitzbhel, which stages its classic Hahnenkamm downhill next Saturday, was then slated to host its own slalom and Wengens this weekend. They were then switched to Flachau to give more time for virus tests in Kitzbhel.

Flachau hosted its traditional womens night slalom on Tuesday won by Mikaela Shiffrin and is a flatter slope than most on the mens circuit.

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first published:January 16, 2021, 15:36 IST