2019 Alpine Combined and Slalom National Champion Luke Winters was victorious under the lights and through the fog in the Winter Games NZ parallel slalom opener Friday night at Coronet Peak, New Zealand.

The men’s Europa Cup group has been training at Roundhill and Ohau, New Zealand, since mid-August, with excellent training conditions and support from each of the resorts despite a relatively mild winter down under. The U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff, led by coaches Matt Underhill, Ryan Wilson, and Josh Benge, together with resort partners, has worked tirelessly to water and prep the surface to allow for world-class training conditions in both giant slalom and slalom disciplines as the athletes get back on snow and dive into the 2019-20 prep period.

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Winters edged out Slovakia’s Adam Zampa in the big final for the victory in spectacular fashion, with a tight finish and a near-crash at the bottom. Belgium’s Sam Maes — the 2019 FIS Junior World Ski Championships slalom and giant slalom bronze medalist — rounded out the podium in third.

In addition to Winters, the group includes double Junior World Champion River Radamus, Junior Worlds silver medalist Ben Ritchie, Bridger Gile, Jacob Dilling, as well as invitees Jimmy Krupka and Jett Seymour. The athletes traveled to Coronet Peak from Ohau on Friday for the event and will conclude their New Zealand training camp and head back stateside on Monday, August 25.

Release courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.