Can Marcel Hirscher be stopped? After Sunday’s slalom in Wengen, Switzerland, it certainly doesn’t look like it as the Austrian superstar took his fifth slalom in a row and eighth victory of the season in commanding fashion.

With all of Hirscher’s success, it’s hard to think that before Sunday, the Austrian had never won a race in Wengen. Hirscher’s win never looked in doubt as he seemed to effortlessly flow through the sections that gave much of the field trouble in both runs as he crossed the finish for a victory of nearly a full second.

“The media in Austria, they are always talking about why not in Wengen,” Hirscher said after the race. “I had no idea why not, but finally I made it and I’m super happy about this. It’s hard to get a feeling if I’m fast or if I lost a lot of time so I tried to push it as hard as possible and finally I think the last part was not too bad so, yeah, it was a good day.”

Henrik Kristoffersen had to settle for runner-up. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Wolfgang Grebien

Boilerplate ice and a rough surface made for difficult conditions in the morning as 25 of the 64 first-run starters fell victim to the notoriously challenging Wengen slalom slope. Warming temperatures and creeping sunshine also made for variable snow in the second run as the sunlit sections of the course softened and became more aggressive.

Despite his best efforts, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen just hasn’t been able to find himself on the right side of the clock this season. Even a swashbuckling second run was not enough to best Hirscher’s otherworldly skiing. The Attacking Viking had to once again settle for a different step on the podium, this time in second place, 0.93 seconds back.

“It’s never being able to take what you can get,” Kristoffersen explained in the finish. “It’s a matter of at the moment Marcel is just better but I’ll fight and work as hard as possible to stand on the top step of the podium. I’m a little bit sick of everybody saying I haven’t won this year because I have 10 podiums in 12 races and that’s a much bigger accomplishment than winning one or two races. At the moment, he’s just better; that’s how it is.”

Sweden’s Andre Myhrer sat second, sandwiched between the two slalom stars, after the first run but was unable to match their pace in the afternoon and settled for third place, 1.72 seconds off of Hirscher.

“I’m really happy with the skiing and the performance right now,” said the tall Swede. “It’s a little behind Mr. Marcel Hirscher, but I still think I skied two really good runs. A little mistake at the bottom of the second run and maybe I think that I could have done a little bit better but like I said, really happy with the situation right now.”

Nolan Kasper made a splash in his return to the World Cup. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Mario Kneisl

The bright spot for the American team came from Nolan Kasper. After nearly a three-year absence from the World Cup, the 28-year-old New Englander made an impressive return, finishing in 20th place.

“It was pretty good,” Kasper said. “Definitely a few mistakes in there but I’m pretty happy with my result and psyched to be back having a second run again. This is as good as I could have hoped for. I knew I was skiing well, but you’re at the World Cup and these are the best guys so to be able to throw it in, I’m super stoked.”

With the way things have been playing out for the American slalom team this season, Kasper’s result made him the third American man to score World Cup points this winter along with David Chodounsky and Mark Engel. With one more qualification race to go and each nation allowed to start four competitors per event at the Games, Kasper made a strong case for his inclusion on what would be his third Olympic team.

“It’s always in the back of your mind but it’s not for me to decide,” he admitted. “I’m just going to go out and try and ski and have fun. My goals this year don’t change. I’m trying to go and prove to myself that I can be competitive and try and ski well. Obviously, I’ve missed a lot of time so I just want to go out and have some fun and enjoy this year.”

Engel also qualified for a second run but hiked in the afternoon, ultimately ending up in 26th place, although too far off the leaders to score World Cup points. Chodounsky, AJ Ginnis, and Hig Roberts did not finish their first runs.

The men’s tour now heads to Kitsbuehel, Austria, for the world-famous Hahnenkamm races with super-G, downhill, and slalom scheduled for Jan. 19-21.

Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOSand Android.


Top 10

  1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  3. Andre Myhrer (SWE) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  6. Michael Matt (AUT) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  7. Stefano Gross (ITA) – Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
  8. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  9. Linus Strasser (GER) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  10. Marc Digruber (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  7  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  51.03  54.42  1:45.45  0.00  100
 2  5  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  51.62  54.76  1:46.38  +0.93  6.35  80
 3  2  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  51.38  55.79  1:47.17  +1.72  11.74  60
 4  24  511902 ZENHAEUSERN Ramon 1992 SUI  52.06  55.20  1:47.26  +1.81  12.36  50
 5  22  421669 NESTVOLD-HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  51.79  55.59  1:47.38  +1.93  13.18  45
 6  3  54170 MATT Michael 1993 AUT  53.19  54.81  1:48.00  +2.55  17.41  40
 7  1  293797 GROSS Stefano 1986 ITA  53.00  55.54  1:48.54  +3.09  21.10  36
 8  10  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  53.03  55.70  1:48.73  +3.28  22.40  32
 9  25  202451 STRASSER Linus 1992 GER  53.21  55.68  1:48.89  +3.44  23.49  29
 10  26  51395 DIGRUBER Marc 1988 AUT  52.98  56.03  1:49.01  +3.56  24.31  26
 11  12  511996 YULE Daniel 1993 SUI  52.82  56.31  1:49.13  +3.68  25.13  24
 12  4  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  53.40  55.79  1:49.19  +3.74  25.54  22
 13  16  191459 LIZEROUX Julien 1979 FRA  53.29  55.95  1:49.24  +3.79  25.88  20
 14  17  54320 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT  52.73  56.58  1:49.31  +3.86  26.36  18
 15  11  422082 FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian 1991 NOR  53.19  56.18  1:49.37  +3.92  26.77  16
 16  18  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste 1984 FRA  53.06  56.32  1:49.38  +3.93  26.83  15
 17  23  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  52.95  56.69  1:49.64  +4.19  28.61  14
 18  32  202520 HOLZMANN Sebastian 1993 GER  53.70  56.32  1:50.02  +4.57  31.20  13
 19  50  302982 OHKOSHI Ryunosuke 1988 JPN  53.65  56.74  1:50.39  +4.94  33.73  12
 20  52  532138 KASPER Nolan 1989 USA  53.85  57.00  1:50.85  +5.40  36.87  11
 21  56  380363 KOLEGA Elias 1996 CRO  53.71  57.43  1:51.14  +5.69  38.85  10
 22  38  103676 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN  53.53  58.70  1:52.23  +6.78  46.29  9
 23  45  6190403 NOEL Clement 1997 FRA  53.34  59.33  1:52.67  +7.22  49.30  8
 24  58  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  53.07  1:04.10  1:57.17  +11.72  80.02  0
 25  49  502015 JAKOBSEN Kristoffer 1994 SWE  52.84  1:11.82  2:04.66  +19.21  131.16  0
 26  36  934523 ENGEL Mark 1991 USA  53.86  1:19.23  2:13.09  +27.64  188.72  0
 27  19  421860 NORDBOTTEN Jonathan 1989 NOR  53.10  2:01.35  2:54.45  +1:09.00  471.12  0
Did not finish 2nd run
 48  512138 SIMONET Sandro 1995 SUI  53.65  0
 8  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT  52.02  0
Disqualified 2nd run
 27  301709 YUASA Naoki 1983 JPN  0
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 54  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  54.39  0
 46  561322 HADALIN Stefan 1995 SLO  54.07  0
 43  194262 BUFFET Robin 1991 FRA  54.46  0
 37  320266 JUNG Donghyun 1988 KOR  54.21  0
 35  380334 VIDOVIC Matej 1993 CRO  54.34  0
 34  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS  54.13  0
 29  103729 READ Erik 1991 CAN  54.06  0
 14  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  54.34  0
Did not finish 1st run
 64  54106 BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon 1992 BOL  0
 62  150743 BERNDT Ondrej 1988 CZE  0
 61  194664 RIZZO Maxime 1993 FRA  0
 60  512274 BISSIG Semyel 1998 SUI  0
 59  54447 RUELAND Simon 1997 AUT  0
 57  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  0
 55  934566 ROBERTS Hig 1991 USA  0
 53  54233 LEITGEB Richard 1994 AUT  0
 51  6290886 BACHER Fabian 1993 ITA  0
 47  293098 RAZZOLI Giuliano 1984 ITA  0
 44  6531063 GINNIS AJ 1994 USA  0
 42  291145 DEVILLE Cristian 1981 ITA  0
 41  201896 STEHLE Dominik 1986 GER  0
 40  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  0
 39  6291574 SALA Tommaso 1995 ITA  0
 33  202485 KETTERER David 1993 GER  0
 31  511899 ROCHAT Marc 1992 SUI  0
 30  534508 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA  0
 28  290732 THALER Patrick 1978 ITA  0
 21  512182 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI  0
 20  53889 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT  0
 15  480736 KHOROSHILOV Alexander 1984 RUS  0
 13  501111 HARGIN Mattias 1985 SWE  0
 9  511983 AERNI Luca 1993 SUI  0
 6  220689 RYDING Dave 1986 GBR  0
Did not start 1st run
 63  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  0
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
- A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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