Lucas Braathen beat Feller in ‘magical’ win in men’s slalom 1 of the season

A flawless second run helped Lucas Braathen win his first World Cup slalom of the season on Sunday for his third career victory.

The Norwegian skier screamed and punched his chest after seeing his time on the board, and then had to wait for compatriot and defending World Cup slalom champion Henrik Kristoffersen, who was ahead by a slim 0.07 seconds from the first run.

However, an error-filled run from Kristoffersen on the Face de Bellevarde course in France knocked him down to sixth place in one minute 39.49 seconds, 1.35 behind Braathen.

“Man, I just want to do it again,” said Braathen, 22. “It’s an incredible feeling right now.

“I have to admit I had a great pre-season, being able to deliver in the race what I did in practice today was simply amazing. I love it here to be on top of the podium.” today is simply magical.”

Braathen finished 1:38.14, 0.84 ahead of Manuel Feller of Austria. Swiss Loic Meillard (1:39.12) finished third, 0.98 behind Braathen.

Erik Read of Calgary was the only Canadian to qualify for the second round, climbing nine places out of 26 competitors to finish 21st. Simon Fournier of Montreal finished 47th (53.86) on the first run and was unable to advance, with Liam Wallace of Calgary and Asher Jordan of North Vancouver, BC unable to finish the opening lap.

WATCH | Full coverage of the men’s slalom from Val d’Isere:

FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Val d’Isere: Men’s slalom

Watch the men’s slalom from Val d’Isere, France.

‘A place of hate and love’

Sunday’s rivalry ended a miserable run after Feller failed to finish his previous five races in the slalom at Val d’Isere. He finished 23rd, first on the top in 2012.

“This is more of a place where hate and love come together because I think it was my second finish in slalo,” Feller said.

“I was just finishing my second World Cup race, it was my first time here and then it was always DNF [did not finish]. That’s why I didn’t risk everything in the second lap.”

Olympic champion Clement Noel, silver medalist Johannes Strolz and Atle Lie McGrath were out of the race on the first run after passing the gates as three of the top nine skiers failed to finish.

Noel won in the snow at home in Val d’Isere last year.

The fight for the slalom title last season was very clear with seven different winners in the first seven races in the discipline. It was a third slalom season title for Kristoffersen.

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