The start to 2019 World Cup racing took place in Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday evening with a New Year’s Day parallel city event hosted at Oslo’s legendary Holmenkollen ski stadium. Last year’s fog-plagued race was followed up by near perfect racing conditions on Tuesday with a rock-hard surface providing fast and fair racing throughout the 32-racer field with some wind playing a part in a couple of the later heats.
The top-16 ranked slalom skiers for each gender were invited to compete in Oslo with each racer running both the red and blue course in each heat with the fastest to the finish moving on.
Petra Vlhova finally beat out Mikaela Shiffrin in the New Year’s Day race for her first victory in parallel. The Slovakian has finished second to Shiffrin in all slalom events so far this season, including the parallel slalom in St. Moritz. The city event is the first time Vlhova has bested the American since she won the slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland back in January of 2018.
“It’s amazing and I don’t know what to say but finally I did it and finally I took a victory and I beat Mikaela. It’s just an amazing day,” said the 23-year-old. “If she is with me in the final, she pushes me to my limits.”
Out of each city event she has started, Oslo marks the first city event that Shiffrin has not won since Moscow in 2013. The American also has not lost a parallel slalom event so far this season.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland bested Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden in the small final to finish third. Holdener, who had been struggling to find the podium early on in the 2018/19 season, is on a hot streak after grabbing a third-place podium in the Semmering slalom.
For the men, Austria’s Marco Schwarz edged out Great Britain’s Dave Ryding in a thrilling final, taking his career first World Cup victory after finishing on the podium in the last men’s slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, earlier in December. Ryding had not finished on a Word Cup podium since his miraculous runner-up finish in the 2017 Kitzbuehel slalom.
“I’m really, really happy about the first victory,” Schwarz said after the race. “This event is a special event so the skiing was good and I’m really happy. The skiing is good, the skis are working pretty good and that’s how it works. The night event is always special and here in Holmenkollen, the crowd was really cool and it’s nice to win here.”
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher and Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, undoubtedly the two biggest names in men’s World Cup slalom over the past several seasons, each were defeated in the early rounds with Hirscher going out in the quarterfinals and Kristoffersen in the first round.
In the small final to decide third place, Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern defeated the defending Oslo champion, Sweden’s Andre Myhrer, for third place. Zenhaeusern was also the winner of last season’s Stockholm city event in January of 2018.
The men’s and women’s tour now heads to Zagreb, Croatia, for slalom racing Jan. 5-6.
Top Four Women
- Petra Vlhova (SVK) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Wendy Holdener (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
- Anna Swenn Larsson (SWE) – Head/Head/Head
Top Four Men
- Marco Schwarz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Dave Ryding (GBR) – Dynastar/Lange/Look
- Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Andre Myhrer (SWE) – Head/Head/Head
For complete FIS results, please click here.