The Slovenia Times

Vitranc Cup: Neureuther Takes Slalom Win


Neureuther did not appear to be bothered by the soft snow that caused problems to many of the late starters in the afternoon run, as he burst into the lead with only Matt left at the top of the hill.

When Matt tripped over the penultimate gate, it left Neureuther to celebrate victory in the race and the lead in the World Cup slalom standings ahead of the season finale in the Swiss resort of Lenzerheide next week.

The German's combined time of 1:45.50 was 0.59 seconds quicker than that of his compatriot Fritz Dopfer in second place. Third place went to 19-year-old Norwegian prodigy Henrik Kristoffersen, who was 0.79 seconds adrift.

For Neureuther the win was an important achievement following a difficult February, in which he struggled to find his form after suffering a car accident late in January.

At the beginning of the year I was in the best form before the accident happened in the run up to the Sochi Games, said Neureuther. "In Sochi, I could not ski as I wanted and returned home very disappointed and lacking in motivation. This is why today's win means a lot", he said.

Previous slalom rankings leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria finished fifth, 0.95 seconds behind Neureuther, enough to grab the lead in the overall World Cup standings, but too little to prevent the German from leapfrogging him in the slalom standings.

Neureuther now has 470 points, five more than Hirscher. Kristoffersen solidified his position as third in the slalom standings with 430 points, still in shot of a victory.

"Let the best man win," said a smiling Neureuther after today's race when asked about the slalom standings.

He added that winning the slalom globe would mean more to him than an Olympic gold medal, because victory in the World Cup standings is confirmation of achievements through the whole season rather than just one race.

In the overall standings, Hirscher (1,050 points) leads Svindal by four points, with Alexis Pinturault of France a distant third with 819 points.


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