There was one emerging World Cup rising star and 128 students who were given a lesson in racing on slick surfaces in today’s slalom, the final race for the men at the 2018 World Juniors.
Clement Noel (FRA) who has two World Cup top-10 results this season (6th in Schladming and 8th in Kitzbuhel), provided a masterful display on the water-injected slalom track.
Noel easily outpaced the entire field in the first run by a 1.8 margin and widened the gap in the 2nd from the 30th start position, to win by 2.77. Alex Vinatzer (ITA) claimed silver and Joachim Jagge Lindstoel (NOR) took bronze.
“He skis a very precise smooth line” said French Team Leader Joe Cornec. “With his experience on this surface from World Cup, he is able to be up to 50 centimeters closer to each gate and over a 60-gate course, this is a big advantage.”
From here, Noel will join the French Olympic Team in PyeongChang as the 20-year old junior was selected as their fourth slalom athlete after his breakthrough results on the World Cup. He joins Alexis Pinterault, Victor Muffat-Jeandet and Jean-Baptiste Grange to represent ‘les Bleus”.
Five of six Canadians finished the first run, with only Liam Wallace (Sunshine/Alberta Ski Team) going out.
Riley Seger (photo courtesy Steve Fleckenstein)
Jeffrey Read (Banff Alpine) led the Canadian Team in 8th spot, Simon Fournier (Tremblant) 16th, Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt.) 22nd, Declan McCormack in 28th and Riley Seger was agonizingly close finishing 31st from start position 63.
In the second run, Fournier moved up to 15th and Mulligan to 19th. Read, McCormack and Seger all had mishaps and did not finish.
It was a high attrition day, as only 30 athletes finished out of a field of 129.
Under beautiful blue skies, in preparation for the last event of the 2018 World Juniors, the ladies had a third training run. Stefanie Fleckenstein posted the 17th time. Norwegians dominated, taking the top two spots and placing four in the top seven.
In the Marc Hodler Trophy, with one event to go the Swiss lead has dwindled to 7 points – which demonstrates the depth of the Austrian Team vs. the medal haul of the Swiss stars. The Marc Hodler Trophy scoring is for the top-10 only in 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format.
Canada now sits in 8th position.
Follow the ladies downhill race on livestream: https://www.swiss-ski.ch/davos2018