The Sports Examiner

ALPINE SKIING: Is Schwarz’s Austria’s coming star after a Combined win in Wengen?

Austria's Marco Schwarz (Photo: Rom@nski via Wikipedia)

The Alpine Combined is one of the orphans of the World Cup tour: rarely run and often canceled for various reasons. But it continued the break-out story of Austria’s 23-year-old Marco Schwarz, who might be a coming star after his second career World Cup win – both this season – in the Alpine Combined in Wengen (SUI) on Friday.

Primarily a technical skier, Schwarz led the field after the Slalom at 48.77, 20/100ths faster than everyone else. He finished 14th in the Downhill, but that was enough to handle French challengers Victor Muffat-Jeandet (by 0.42) and Alexis Pinturault (by 1.12). Schwarz came into this season with two career World Cup bronzes, but has added two wins and a silver in the 2018-19 campaign.

The Wengen program included three events, with Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr winning the Downhill for his fourth career World Cup gold, ahead of reigning World Cup champion Beat Feuz (SUI). Bryce Bennett of the U.S., now 26, was fifth, the third time this season he has had a top-five finish in a World Cup race.

In Sunday’s Slalom, it was France’s Clement Noel who scored his first career World Cup victory, ahead of Austrians Manuel Feller and the favored Marcel Hirscher. Noel led everyone after the first run, with Hirscher only fifth. But, ever the competitor, Hirscher ripped down the hill on the second run and had the fastest time in field by 0.39, but it wasn’t enough to make up the deficit. Noel was sixth-fastest on the second run, but still won by 0.08 over Feller and 0.10 over Hirscher. Summaries:

FIS Alpine World Cup
Wengen (SUI) ~ 18-20 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Alpine Combined: 1. Marco Schwarz (SUI), 2:36.92; 2. Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA), 2:37.34; 3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA), 2:38.04; 4. Mauro Caviezel (SUI), 2:38.15; 5. Romed Baumann (AUT), 2:38.48. Also in the top 25: 14. Ted Ligety (USA), 2:39.77; 15. Bryce Bennett (USA), 2:39.80; … 25. Jared Goldberg (USA), 2:41.32.

Men’s Downhill: 1. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 2:28.36; 2. Beat Feuz (SUI), 2:28.50; 3. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), 2:28.62; 4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), 2:28.88; 5. Bennett (USA), 2:28.99. Also in the top 25: 24. Travis Ganong (USA), 2:30.66.

Men’s Slalom: 1. Clement Noel (FRA), 1:45.40; 2. Manuel Feller (AUT), 1:45.48; 3. Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1:45.50; 4. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), 1:45.70; 5. Daniel Yule (SUI), 1:46.14.

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