ALPINE SKIING: What’s this? France’s Noel beats Hirscher again in Slalom!

France's Clement Noel

Who is Clement Noel?

That’s the question followers of the Alpine World Cup are asking, after the 21-year-old from Val d’Isere (FRA) won his second straight Slalom, defeating World Cup superstar Marcel Hirscher (AUT) once again in the process.

Noel provided confirmation of his win at Wengen (SUI) on the 20th and he has now won three career World Cup medals, all in the last two weeks.

Swiss Ramon Zenhaeusern led after the first run, with Noel second, 55.22-55.34 and Hirscher well back in ninth (56.10). But Hirscher roared to life on the second run, clocking 49.72 for the fastest second run. But Noel was equal to the challenge, timing 50.19 for the third-fastest second run and ended up with a 0.26-second margin over Hirscher.

An amazing win for Noel; Hirscher recorded his 134th World Cup medal, which is also quite remarkable.

Italian veteran Dominik Paris won the Downhill for his third win this season and 12th of his career. He won a bronze on Sunday in the Super-G, which was won in another surprise by Germany’s Josef Ferstl.

Ferstl won his first World Cup medal in two years and got his second career win, both in Super-G. The runner-up, 38-year-old Johan Clarey (FRA), also won his first World Cup medal in two years – his last was also in Kitzbuehel — and his first Super-G medal ever. He had won four previous World Cup medals, all in Downhills in 2009-13-14-17.

The women’s events in Garmisch were more to form, with Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) winning the Super-G, her first win but third medal of the season, and Austria’s seven-year veteran Stephanie Vernier won her first-ever World Cup title, and her fourth career medal, in the Downhill. Olympic Downhill champ Sofia Goggia (ITA) returned to competition from injuries and skied very well with silver medals in both races. Summaries:

FIS Alpine World Cup
Kitzbuehel (SUI) ~ 25-27 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Downhill: 1. Dominik Paris (ITA), 1:56.82; 2. Beat Feuz (SUI), 1:57.02; 3. Otmar Striedinger (AUT), 1:57.19; 4. Christof Innerhofer (ITA), 1:57.75; 5. Daniel Danklmaier (AUT), 1:57.76. Also in the top 25: 14. Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:58.27; … 19. Travis Ganong (USA), 1:58.74.

Men’s Slalom: 1. Clement Noel (FRA), 1:45.53; 2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1:45.82; 3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA), 1:45.89; 4. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), 1:46.06; 5. Marco Schwarz (SUI), 1:46.22.

Men’s Super-G: 1. Josef Ferstl (GER), 1:13.07; 2. Johan Clarey (FRA), 1:13.15; 3. Paris (ITA), 1:13.17; 4. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:13.22; 5. Matthias Mayer (AUT), 1:13.25.

FIS Alpine World Cup
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) ~ 26-27 January 2019
(Full results here)

Women’s Super-G: 1. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), 1:19.98; 2. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:20.21; 3. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), 1:20.43; 4. Federica Brignone (ITA), 1:20.53; 5. Romane Miradoli (FRA), 1:20.73. Also in the top 25: 14. Laurenne Ross (USA), 1:21.40.

Women’s Downhill: 1. Stephanie Venier (AUT), 1:37.46; 2. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:37.71; 3. Kira Weidle (GER), 1:38.00; 4. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:38.27; 5. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 1:38.31. Also in the top 25: 8. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:38.65; … 14. Ross (USA), 1:38.97.