The 31-year-old Feller also ended the 17-race long wait of the Austrian slalom skiers for a cup victory with his third win in his career. The 2017 world vice-champion won the first round in a commanding manner with almost a second lead, and even though he lost a lot in the second run, he defended the first place by 23 hundredths.
“There is nothing more beautiful than winning. Except for the victory, after which you stand on the podium with your representative colleagues,” said Feller. The last time Austrian men occupied the podium was after the downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February 2015.
The best time of the second lap was set by Schwarz, after whose ride the race was interrupted for a few minutes before the last five starters due to climate activists from the Last Generation group. They penetrated the target area and sprayed the snow with orange paint. Security then took them away. Television footage captured elite Norwegian slalom skier Henrik Kristoffersen scolding them for interrupting the race.
“They have no respect. Say what you want, go to the polls, try to change things. But don’t preach it to others. This is disgusting,” Kristoffersen, who threw snowballs at the activists together with the Croatian Filip Zubčič, told Norwegian television NRK. “He (Zubčič) hit one in the head. He was happy about it,” added the two-time world champion.
The skiers in Gurgl managed to successfully start the World Cup season for the fourth time. The inaugural giant slalom in Sölden was canceled due to wind, and bad weather forced the cancellation of both Matterhorn runs last weekend. The Czech representatives did not start in the Ötztal Alps.
The World Cup will continue in two weeks with speed races in Beaver Creek, slalom skiers will be presented a week later in Val d’Isère.
|SP race in downhill skiing in Gurgl (Austria):|
|Men – slalom:|
|1. Feller 1:47.23 (53.22+54.01)|
|2. Schwarz -0.23 (54.38+53.08)|
|3. Matt (all Cancer) -1.05 (55.14+53.14)|
|4. Ryding (Britain) -1.06 (54.93+53.36)|
|5. Yule (Switzerland) -1.08 (54.85+53.46)|
|6. Haugan (Norway) -1.15 (54.68+53.70)|