Yule wins slalom after Hirscher and Kristoffersen straddle
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy (AP) — Swiss skier Daniel Yule claimed his first World Cup victory when first-run leaders Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen straddled gates in the second leg of a night slalom on Saturday.
Yule finished 0.34 seconds ahead of Marco Schwarz of Austria and 0.50 ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Michael Matt of Austria.
Yule, who stood fourth after the first run, was able to successfully navigate the bumpy turns on the upper portion of the steep Canalone Miramonti course in the second leg, which was set by his coach.
Kristoffersen straddled just three gates into his second run, and Hirscher didn’t make it much further.
“It’s really incredible,” Yule said. “When I reached the finish I thought it would be enough for the podium but definitely not enough to win.
“I would have never expected both Marcel and Henrik to straddle in the same race. They’re the legends of our sport.”
Yule’s only previous podium results were two third-place finishes in slaloms in Kitzbuehel and Schladming, Austria, last season.
Hirscher, who won the opening two slaloms of the season, kept the discipline and overall World Cup lead.
While Kristoffersen just skied away after his error, Hirscher hiked back up to the gate he missed and completed the course to finish 26th — nearly 20 seconds behind Yule.
It’s been a long week for Hirscher, who won a giant slalom and a parallel GS in Alta Badia, Italy, on Sunday and Monday, respectively, plus a slalom on home snow in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, two days ago.
It was Hirscher’s biggest mistake since he went off course in the opening run of the slalom at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.
Kristoffersen finished on the podium in the previous 11 World Cup slaloms, leaving him one shy of the men’s record in this event set by Ingemar Stenmark in 1975-76 and equaled in 1977-78.
It was also a career-best result for Schwarz.
Dave Ryding of Britain moved up from 27th after the opening run to finish fourth, and 2010 Olympic champion Giuliano Razzoli of Italy came fifth with the No. 69 bib.
The men’s circuit resumes with a downhill and super-G in Bormio on Dec. 28 and 29, respectively.