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Giant Slalom Season Wraps Up; Sarchett Races First World Cup

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
March, 16 2024
Ryder Sarchett skis his first World Cup. (Getty Images)

In the final World Cup giant slalom of the season in Saalbach, Austria, Stifel U.S. Ski Team athlete River Radamus skied to 17th place and the World Juniors giant slalom champion Ryder Sarchett made his World Cup debut. 

The Austrian crowds were in full force to watch the best of the best put it to the test in Saalbach. The conditions felt like spring with warm temperatures and light rain on a heavily salted course. 

The course deteriorated in the first run, as the skiers raced for the final time in the giant slalom season. Radamus had trouble finding his rhythm and finished the first run in 15th place. Sarchett, a bit nervous, made it down with a sizable mistake, ready to make up time on the second run. 

Sarchett, the World Juniors giant slalom champion, showed off his talent running first on the second run. He skied smooth and fast to land in the leaderboard for two racers. Sarchett ended up having the third-fastest second run, a remarkable feat for the up-and-coming racer. Sarchett was sure to soak in the experience. 

“I am a little disappointed with the first run,” said Sarchett. “I didn't ski my best and I felt like I left a lot on the table. But my second run was really fun. It felt like my normal skiing and was fast and that feels good.” 

“It’s definitely the next level to be here and there is a reason why it's the World Cup," he added. "You have to be on your game and I think that’s really cool and will hopefully motivate me."

Radamus finished his day in 17th place, not his best finish, but leaves him ready to come back stronger for the next season. Radamus will finish the giant slalom rankings in 11th, his best ranking to date. 

“It’s been a great season. I feel like I’ve made some strides to where I want to be with my giant slalom skiing,” said Radamus. “Two bad runs here - I wish I could have finished it on a stronger note but I will take the motivation and frustration I have into the off-season to get better for next year.”

It was a dramatic end to the giant slalom season for Swiss star Marco Odermatt. Odermatt was chasing his 13th giant slalom victory in a row but on the second run he caught an edge and could not complete the run. Teammate Loic Meillard took the win to cap off what has been a streak of podiums in the recent races. Second place went to Andorra racer Joan Verdu, his second podium of the season. Swiss skier Thomas Tumler was third. 

World Cup Finals will continue with a men’s slalom race on Sunday and the following weekend will feature men’s downhill and super-G. 

Men's giant slalom


March 17
3:00 a.m. - women’s giant slalom, run 1 - Peacock
4:30 a.m. - men’s slalom, run 1 - Peacock
6:00 a.m. - women’s giant slalom, run 2 - Peacock
7:30 a.m. - women’s slalom, run 2 - Peacock 

March 22
5:00 a.m. - women’s super-G - Peacock
6:30 a.m. - men’s super-G - Peacock 

March 23
5:15 a.m. - women’s downhill - Peacock

March 24
5:15 a.m. - men’s downhill - Peacock