Career-Best Seventh For Winters in Flachau Night Slalom
Luke Winters scored a career-best seventh place on Wednesday night in under the lights in Flachau, Austria, the final FIS Ski World Cup slalom prior to World Cup Finals.
The race, originally scheduled to take place in Zagreb, Croatia, thrived under the lights in front of a wild Austrian crowd. Norway’s Atle McGrath won his first-ever World Cup, followed by Olympic champion Clement Noel in France in second, 0.29 seconds off the pace, and Swiss Daniel Yule in third, .64 out.
With his victory, McGrath became one of eight men to win a World Cup slalom this season. Teammate Henrik Kristoffersen became the first to claim multiple wins last weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany with his back-to-back wins. Half of those eight World Cup slalom winners have been Norwegian, including teammates Lucas Braathen (Wengen, Switzerland) and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (Madonna di Campiglio, Italy).
Winters skied a solid and smart first run, sitting in 18th, a promising position to move up in the second run. He skied with tactic and confidence in the second run to gain significant time and move up the leaderboard. "First run I wasn't totally sure...in Garmisch I had some trouble, but I had a decent training block between the two races," Winters reflected. "I wasn't totally sure how I'd feel coming out of the gate first run, but I found my rhythm and had some really good sections on the first run, and kind of took that confidence into the second run and was just super focused and knew what I had to do."
With his seventh place, Winters also stamped his ticket to World Cup Finals—in which the top 25 ranked in each discipline will compete to close out the season. He ended up in a three-way tie for 24th place in the standings. "Obviously, with a little added pressure to really push it to try to get to Finals, I knew I had to do that," he said. "It feels good to also barely make Finals - I think I was tied for 24th, so even if I had gotten eighth I would not have made it, so that feels good. Psyched on my best career result and looking forward to one more chance at Finals."
Alex Leever did not qualify for the second run. Ben Ritchie and Jett Seymour also started for the Americans but did not finish the first run.
Kristoffersen maintained his lead in the slalom standings, with 371 points over teammate Lucas Braathen with 323 points. Germany’s Linus Strasser is sitting in third with 307 points, and Austria’s Manuel Feller has 301 points. With one slalom remaining at World Cup Finals, anything can happen. Swiss Marco Odermatt, who does not ski slalom, maintained his healthy lead in the overall standings, with 1,239 points heading into the double giant slalom weekend in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Up next, the tech men travel to Kranjska Gora for back-to-back giant slalom races on Saturday and Sunday before traveling to World Cup Finals in Courchevel/Meribel.
HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST
Friday, March 11, 2022
9:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
12:00 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, March 12, 2022
3:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
4:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
6:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
7:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
Sunday, March 13, 2022
4:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
7:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
Sport-specific broadcast and streaming schedules are available below:
Broadcast and streaming are updated on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard website throughout the season.