Schladming Nightrace - Triumph for Noël - ÖSV aces miss the podium!

Nothing came of the red-white-red home win at the legendary Nightrace in Schladming: When Clément Noël won, Manuel Feller, as the best Austrian, had to settle for the thankless 4th place!

While the Tyrolean, who started second in the final, went “southwards” in the classification, the Frenchman Noël managed to jump to the top from the 7th – and thus his 10th World Cup victory. Behind the Swiss Ramon Zenhäusler (+0 .07 seconds) and Lucas Braathen from Norway (+0.38) feller (+0.45) missed the podium by only seven hundredths. The half-time leader Henrik Kristoffersen fell back to 11th place in the decision. “It already hurts,” said the 30-year-old Feller in front of almost 40,000 spectators in an ORF interview. For the 5th time in the 26th night race in Schladming, the ÖSV was without a place on the podium. Already in 2002, 2011, 2015 and 2020 we got nothing. As in Kitzbühel, where he had finished 10th, Fabio Gstrein was again the second best Austrian with a strong ninth place. The 25-year-old was particularly satisfied with his final run. “I’ve already tried to get brutally to the limit and drive a cheeky line. That paid off to some extent.” Olympic champion Johannes Strolz dropped from 9th place to 16th place in the second run after a run that was on the verge of elimination. After numerous failures, it was only his second result of the season for the man from Vorarlberg, in Wengen he was twelfth. He leaves Schladming with mixed feelings. “On the one hand I’m happy with the first round, but the second round was an incredible fight. I had to fight brutally just to keep going. But it’s better to take a few points than none at all.” The result: Marco Schwarz slipped on the inside ski in the final while he was in the lead. The Carinthian stayed in the race, but did not jump out of more than 25th place. “If you want to be halfway up front, you have to attack. Because in the first round I was in the midfield, but that’s not what I’m aiming for. I definitely want more. I had to attack, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for me,” explained Schwarz. Adrian Pertl intervened. Simon Rueland (33rd) and Michael Matt (35th) missed the leap into the final. Dominik Raschner was eliminated in the first round. Around two dozen riders suffered the same fate on the restless slope, including last year’s German winner Linus Straßer and Kitzbühel triumphant Daniel Yule from Switzerland. The Frenchman Alexis Pinturault was also able to end his working day prematurely as 31st. While the slope caused headaches for some, the racers were unanimously enthusiastic about the atmosphere along the route. “This is by far the coolest race in terms of atmosphere,” explained Schwarz. Strolz was also more than impressed. “It doesn’t get any better. When you’re on the steep slope, it gets really loud. There is nothing nicer than a racer than racing in front of such a backdrop at home.” Numerous representatives from politics, business and sport also gathered at the finish stadium in Schladming when the spectators came back without restrictions. Among them were Styrian Governor Christopher Drexler, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, US Ambassador Victoria Reggie Kennedy and Salzburg’s master coach Matthias Jaissle. On Wednesday there will be another World Cup giant slalom on the Planai. The race starts at 5.45 p.m. (2nd heat 8.45 p.m.). A slalom in Chamonix is ​​on the agenda for February 4th before the World Championships.

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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