Home SPORTS Norwegian teenager Lucas Braathen takes Soelden big slalom for 1st victory

Norwegian teenager Lucas Braathen takes Soelden big slalom for 1st victory

Sitting within the chief box, Lucas Braathen buried his head in his arms as he watched every racer after him crossing the end line on the season-opening males’s World Cup big slalom Sunday in Soelden, Austria.

But the Norwegian’s time held up, even after first-run chief Gino Caviezel accomplished his second.

Braathen, who had by no means completed in a World Cup podium place, improved from fifth place after the opening leg to upset the pre-race favourites and clinch his first profession win.

“It’s a pretty good day,” the 20-year-old informed Austrian TV with a vivid smile.

Braathen posted the second quickest time within the decisive leg to complete forward of Swiss duo Marco Odermatt and Caviezel.

Odermatt, the quickest racer within the second run, was 5 hundredths behind, and Caviezel, who led after the opening run, trailed by 0.46 seconds.

“A victory’s too much to ask for but I know that my mental side is strong, I know my technical skiing has improved a lot, my physics as well,” Braathen mentioned.

“I knew that I was capable of a podium. First victory, first race of the season, it’s unbelievable,” he mentioned.

I’m not right here for fifth locations, I’m right here for podiums— First-time World Cup winner Lucas Braathen after Sunday’s big slalom victory

Competing in solely his 23th occasion within the World Cup, Braathen had a fourth place as his earlier greatest consequence on the slalom in Kitzbuehel in January.

Braathen knew that the difficult Rettenbach glacier is a hill that fits him. Last yr he wore bib No. 40 and completed sixth.

Posting the fifth time within the opening run satisfied him much more that one thing was potential on Sunday.

Defending general champ joins in celebration

“I went for it. I am not here for fifth places, I am here for podiums,” he mentioned of his attacking second run.

His roommate within the Norwegian crew, general champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, was among the many first to congratulate him, giving him a agency hug.

Kilde did not depart the venue, staying round to see how his teammate would do, regardless of failing to complete his first run. Kilde got here broad on a left flip and misplaced his proper ski when he caught a bump.

Last yr’s winner Alexis Pinturault missed the rostrum by 0.03 seconds in fourth, while GS world champion Henrik Kristoffersen completed in joint fifth place with Loic Meillard, the third Swiss skier within the top 5.

Defending general World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde failed to complete his first run. Braathen’s Norwegian teammate got here broad on a left flip and misplaced his proper ski when he caught a bump.

Ted Ligety, who gained the race a report 4 occasions, was tenth after the opening run however the American’s left ski got here off early in his second.

With Braathen and Odermatt, who turned 23 this month, a youthful era occupied the top spots within the season’s first race.

Wide-open self-discipline

“You can only dream of such a start to the season,” Odermatt mentioned.

The GS has develop into a wide-open self-discipline for the reason that retirement of Marcel Hirscher. The dominant Austrian gained the GS season title six occasions in seven years earlier than ending his profession in 2019.

Last season, Kristoffersen scooped the title, however Pinturault, Croatia’s Filip Zubcic and Slovenia’s Zan Kranjec all completed inside 30 factors of the Norwegian’s tally after seven races.

The Russian crew was excluded from Sunday’s race after coronavirus assessments of two of its coaches got here again with unclear outcomes.

The crew, together with racers Pavel Trikhichev, Alexander Andrienko and Ivan Kuznetsov, was remoted awaiting outcomes of retests.

No spectators had been allowed on the race as one of many precautionary health and security measures amid the pandemic.

The subsequent World Cup races are parallel occasions for women and men in one other Austrian resort, Lech/Zuers, on Nov. 13-14.

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