A look of disbelief swept across Henrik Kristoffersen’s face as Marcel Hirscher came through the finish with the green light in the World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland. Hirscher–the Austrian powerhouse with six World Cup overall titles to his name–was flung from left to right on the final pitch. He was running a late line and nearly came to a stop on the final breakover. It was not a pretty run and fans could tell it was a fight when the Austrian collapsed in a the finish area–a surprising moment considering Hirscher hardly ever looks tired.

Despite that, Hirscher found himself on top of the podium, 0.17 seconds ahead of the Norwegian who has been chasing him all season. Kristoffersen laid his head down on the finish area fencing and then shrugged at the TV camera as if to say, “What else can I do?”

The Norwegian has bested Hirscher twice this season. In Levi, Finland, Hirscher finished 17th in his first race back after his fracturing his ankle while Kristoffersen landed in second place. Then in Alta Badia, Italy, the Norwegian skied to second place in the parallel GS while Hirscher took third. Still, Hirscher is one of Kristoffersen’s biggest obstacles to getting a win this season. The Austrian has won 60 percent of the races he’s started in this season. If you look at just slalom and giant slalom races, that number goes up to 75 percent. Hirscher, much like Mikaela Shiffrin on the ladies’ tour, is a frustrating lesson in consistency for the rest of the field.

Kristoffersen often shows that frustration clearly on his face. The Attacking Viking does not wear a poker face like most athletes do when they are kicked out of the leader box. While skiers usually clap, shrug and wear a smile, the Norwegian was been known to throw what appears to be a temper tantrum.

“I think as an athlete, you’re allowed to be a little bit angry, and then you let it go,” he explained after taking third in Zagreb, Croatia. “So, I think I was angry for like 10 minutes and then it was okay. But I think that’s what makes me me. It’s always been like that.”

He continued to say that athletes should not be afraid to show their disappointment, and expressed that his frustration has nothing to do with a lack of respect for Hirscher. His disappointment stems from his own frustrations with his skiing. All that aside, the Norwegian is happy with his three second-place finishes in giant slalom this season.

“I was disappointed with GS season last year, so we had to change something,” he explained. “Skied a lot of GS this year. Changed the technique up a little bit and worked hard, so that’s why the first three races before Zagreb felt a little not so good in slalom. Zagreb felt good with only some mistakes, but GS was so much better than last year.”

Image Credit: Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom

Kristoffersen continued to say that in Adelboden he gave it everything he could and felt pleased by the outcome.

“It was a good one, for sure,” Kristoffersen shared in the press conference. “It was a real fight. The GS is so much better than last year and that’s why I’m pretty happy at the moment with only being 17 hundredths behind, but Marcel made a huge mistake at the bottom. I made a mistake. I think we fought with everything we had. At the moment, he’s just better.”

For Hirscher, the win puts him one step closer to catching Hermann Maier, who is ranked second on the all-time wins list amongst men. Hirscher has claimed 51 victories–three shy of Maier’s record and 35 away from Ingemar Stenmark’s 86 wins. Adelboden in particular has always been good to the Austrian. He earned 13 podium finishes in 18 World Cup starts. More than 10 percent of Hirscher’s World Cup victories were earned at the Swiss venue.

“Every stage is very important on our tour, but Adelboden has this special terrain, has this history, has these amazing fans,” he said. “I mean the Swiss people are very fair, and it’s nearly no difference between the first runner and the 70th athlete in the first run, so I think this is something very special and this is not everywhere the same.”

Frenchman Alexis Pinturault rounded out the podium in third place. Hirscher and Pinturault go back and forth on the GS circuit. In the last nine World Cup giant slalom races, either Hirscher or Pinturault as topped the podium. Last year at Adelboden, Pinturault won by 0.04 seconds over the Austrian, but this year, he missed the win by 0.21 seconds. The French skier was still quite happy with his race, particularly considering the second run course set.

“It was really turny, so it was really difficult to know if you were fast or not, if you were making speed or not, and it’s only when you cross the line that you know which kind of run you made,” Pinturault said. “So, I get a good sensation, but it was also really difficult to, as I said, know if you were fast.”

The American contingent was no exception when it came to the challenges of the second run course. While Ted Ligety, Tommy Ford, and Ryan Cochran-Siegle all qualified for a second run, only Cochran-Siegle managed to make it down the Chuenisbaergli track. The Vermont native finished in 21st and earned his first World Cup GS points of the season.

Racing action continues on Sunday with a men’s slalom at Adelboden.


Top 10

1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol Look / Rossignol
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) –  Head / Head / Head
4. Luca De Aliprandini (ITA) – Salomon / Salomon / Salomon
5. Manuel Feller (AUT) –  Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 
5. Zan Kranjec (SLO) –  Rossignol Look / Rossignol
7. Manfred Moelgg (ITA) – Fischer / Fischer /Fischer
8. Ricardo Tonetti (ITA) –  Voelkl / Marker Dalbello
9. Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen (NOR) –  Rossignol Look / Rossignol
10. Justin Murisier (FRA) –  Voelkl / Marker Dalbello


Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  2  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:10.53  1:18.10  2:28.63  0.00  100
 2  5  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  1:10.64  1:18.16  2:28.80  +0.17  1.12  80
 3  1  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:11.40  1:17.44  2:28.84  +0.21  1.38  60
 4  9  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:11.38  1:18.39  2:29.77  +1.14  7.52  50
 5  11  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT  1:11.99  1:17.84  2:29.83  +1.20  7.91  45
 5  10  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  1:11.84  1:17.99  2:29.83  +1.20  7.91  45
 7  16  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  1:11.94  1:18.04  2:29.98  +1.35  8.90  36
 8  22  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  1:11.72  1:18.48  2:30.20  +1.57  10.35  32
 8  3  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA  1:11.87  1:18.33  2:30.20  +1.57  10.35  32
 10  6  421669 NESTVOLD-HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  1:11.18  1:19.04  2:30.22  +1.59  10.48  26
 11  4  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI  1:11.71  1:19.05  2:30.76  +2.13  14.04  24
 12  46  54027 BRENNSTEINER Stefan 1991 AUT  1:12.75  1:18.07  2:30.82  +2.19  14.44  22
 13  20  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI  1:12.57  1:18.34  2:30.91  +2.28  15.03  20
 14  38  54104 WALCH Magnus 1992 AUT  1:12.78  1:18.20  2:30.98  +2.35  15.49  18
 15  7  501324 OLSSON Matts 1988 SWE  1:11.83  1:19.30  2:31.13  +2.50  16.48  16
 16  32  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS  1:12.64  1:18.63  2:31.27  +2.64  17.41  15
 17  12  292967 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA  1:12.70  1:18.86  2:31.56  +2.93  19.32  14
 18  42  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  1:12.99  1:18.60  2:31.59  +2.96  19.52  13
 19  26  511741 ZURBRIGGEN Elia 1990 SUI  1:13.36  1:18.48  2:31.84  +3.21  21.17  12
 20  14  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:13.67  1:18.27  2:31.94  +3.31  21.82  11
 21  44  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  1:12.90  1:19.05  2:31.95  +3.32  21.89  10
 22  8  54031 LEITINGER Roland 1991 AUT  1:12.69  1:19.54  2:32.23  +3.60  23.74  9
 23  33  103865 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN  1:13.32  1:19.44  2:32.76  +4.13  27.23  8
 24  54  481103 ANDRIENKO Aleksander 1990 RUS  1:13.70  1:19.14  2:32.84  +4.21  27.76  7
Did not finish 2nd run
 48  194935 FAVROT Thibaut 1994 FRA  1:13.53  0
 25  202597 SCHMID Alexander 1994 GER  1:13.17  0
 21  531799 FORD Tommy 1989 USA  1:13.03  0
 18  512182 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI  1:12.95  0
 15  534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA  1:11.77  0
 13  191750 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  1:12.52  0
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 69  430617 CHRAPEK Adam 1993 POL  1:18.14  0
 66  511983 AERNI Luca 1993 SUI  1:14.85  0
 62  20398 VERDU Joan 1995 AND  1:14.87  0
 60  194457 GALEOTTI Greg 1992 FRA  1:14.94  0
 59  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  1:14.49  0
 55  511899 ROCHAT Marc 1992 SUI  1:15.86  0
 53  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:15.10  0
 52  6291374 HOFER Alex 1994 ITA  1:14.37  0
 51  512269 ODERMATT Marco 1997 SUI  1:13.78  0
 49  410365 BARWOOD Adam 1992 NZL  1:16.75  0
 47  6532084 RADAMUS River 1998 USA  1:15.33  0
 45  53889 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT  1:13.76  0
 43  103676 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN  1:13.93  0
 41  422390 MONSEN Marcus 1995 NOR  1:14.59  0
 40  410364 FEASEY Willis 1992 NZL  1:16.51  0
 39  53985 MATHIS Marcel 1991 AUT  1:14.57  0
 35  422112 PATRICKSSON Axel William 1992 NOR  1:16.20  0
 34  180666 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN  1:14.35  0
 31  54093 STROLZ Johannes 1992 AUT  1:14.27  0
 30  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR  1:13.85  0
 29  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni 1990 ITA  1:14.15  0
 28  534959 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA  1:14.03  0
 27  534508 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA  1:13.90  0
 24  103729 READ Erik 1991 CAN  1:15.50  0
Did not finish 1st run
 70  54106 BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon 1992 BOL  0
 68  302982 OHKOSHI Ryunosuke 1988 JPN  0
 67  380363 KOLEGA Elias 1996 CRO  0
 65  400237 MEINERS Maarten 1992 NED  0
 64  6190329 GUILLOT Victor 1996 FRA  0
 63  202584 RAUCHFUSS Julian 1994 GER  0
 61  54320 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT  0
 58  561322 HADALIN Stefan 1995 SLO  0
 57  511857 JENAL Sandro 1992 SUI  0
 56  6291430 MAURBERGER Simon 1995 ITA  0
 50  502015 JAKOBSEN Kristoffer 1994 SWE  0
 37  422278 WINDINGSTAD Rasmus 1993 NOR  0
 36  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  0
 23  294890 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA  0
 19  380335 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO  0
 17  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  0
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Gabbi Hall
Digital Content Editor
- A California native, Gabbi moved to Vermont to ski on the NCAA circuit for St. Michael’s College, where she served as team captain and studied journalism. Before joining Ski Racing, she worked as a broadcast TV producer and social media manager in higher education. She can be reached via email at gabbi@skiracing.com
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