For the first time since PyeongChang, the men’s World Cup tour competed in the alpine combined event on Friday in Wengen, Switzerland. One run of slalom, and one run of downhill on the epic Lauberhorn track (the longest downhill the men will race this season) are combined into one time to determine the winner.
Vincent Kriechmayr was the fastest man in the downhill, but his speed was not enough to overcome Marco Schwarz, who was in the lead after the slalom run by 0.20 seconds. Schwarz stood at the top of the podium in the Alpine Combined for the first time in his career. The 23-year-old has won in the slalom before, most recently n the Oslo city event, but he has never podiumed in a speed event.
In 2018, Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet won the Wengen Alpine Combined. In 2019, he fell to Schwarz, claiming the runner-up position. He shared the podium with his teammate Alexis Pinturault who has won four of five World Cup combined titles from 2013 to 2017. This is not the first time the teammates have shared the podium. Pinturault finished second to Hirscher in the PyeongChang Olympics, and Muffat-Jeandet finished third.
“I have nice memories with Alexis, because we had the podium together last year at the Olympics. So every time it’s a better moment. When you’re one, it’s good for you, but when you’re two it’s better because there is more team spirit,” said Muffat-Jeandet.
Despite his past performances in Alpine Combined, Pinturault was not upset about his finish, rather he was congratulatory of his teammate since he does not typically ski so well in the downhill. This season was the first season that Muffat-Jeandet trained downhill over the summer, in preparation for the alpine combined events.
“I do not feel like I lost today, because today, Victor was a downhiller,” said Pinturault.
After the slalom, a few notable downhiller names were absent from the start list. Austria’s Matthias Mayer, Italy’s Dominik Paris, and Norway’s Alexsander Kilde all straddled in their slalom run, and were unable to compete in the speed portion of the event. Paris won the downhill in Bormio, and the training in Wengen, and had been to projected to do well if he could hang on in the slalom. Mayer has finished in the top ten in the downhill twice this season along with Kilde, who won the downhill in Val Gardena and finished ninth in Bormio.
Marcel Hirscher, reigning Alpine Combined Olympic Gold medalist, decided to opt out of Wengen’s event, seeing as he does not plan to compete in the combined in the upcoming World Championships in Are, Sweden. Instead, he is taking a much-needed break to prepare for the next long block of upcoming races.
Americans Ted Ligety and Bryce Bennett went 14, 15, and Jared Goldberg finished 25th. Ligety was fourth after his slalom run, but could not hang on during his downhill run to stay in the top ten overall. Bennett, on the other hand, had the opposite problem. Bennett finished fifth in the downhill, but 21st in the slalom, and could not break into the top 10.
On January 19th the men will compete in the downhill in Wengen, starting at 12:30 CET.
- Marco Schwarz (AUT): 2:36.92 – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA): +0.42 – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Alexis Pinturault (FRA): +1.12 – Head/Head/Head
- Mauro Caviezel (SUI): +1.23 – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Romed Baumann (AUT): +1.56 – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Pavel Trikhichev (RUS): +1.83 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Kjetil Jansrud (NOR): +1.87 – Head/Head/Head
- Riccardo Tonetti (ITA): +1.96 – Blizzard/Tecnica
- Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT): +2.31 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Christof Innerhofer (ITA): +2.39 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
For complete FIS results, click here.