CHAMONIX CELEBRATES AS FRENCHMAN WINS WORLD CUP SLALOM
8th February 2020 | James Cove, Chamonix
Last modified on February 12th, 2020
The 22-year old French racer, Clement Noel, has won the Kandahar World Cup slalom race in Chamonix. Cue wild celebrations, but there was disappointment for Dave Ryding. PlanetSKI was in the finish area.
To say the place went wild is a slight understatement.
It felt more like France had won the football world cup, rather than a skiing world cup race.
Here is the crowd’s reaction as Clement Noel took first place on his second run.
“It is a very special moment and one of my most important victories, the feeing is great,” said Clement Noel after the race to the invited media that included PlanetSKI.
“The course was great, but it was not easy and the course setter made it tough.”
“It is so good to win in France and the atmosphere is just so great here in Chamonix right now.”
Sadly GB’s Dave Ryding was unable to build on his 12th position after the first run.
He ended up in the Top Twenty, but in 17th place.
Dave is still one of the best in the world, as he is competing with the best in the world, but with three races to go time is running out for Dave in the 2019/20 season.
He has managed two Top Ten places, but he was aiming for the podium.
He had some good home support in the crowd at the bottom of La Verte course in Les Houches.
And here is his first run:
Regular readers will know PlanetSKI likes to cheer on Dave whenever we can.
A couple of weeks ago we were at the Schladming Night Slalom where he came 8th.
Slalom is becoming increasingly popular this season with several top riders battling out and the winning position changing hands multiple times.
There’s Henrik Kristofferson of Norway, Daniel Yule of Switzerland and Clement Noel at the top of the leader board.
Alexis Pinturault of France and Marco Schwarz from Austria are hot on their heels.
And of course Dave Ryding is a contender for the podium.
Lets not forget Andre Myher from Sweden who is 37-years old and had his 250th start in a World Cup race today – he came 9th.
Noel was the only one of the top four from run one to finish after Yule, Italy’s Stefano Gross and French team-mate Alexis Pinturault all missed gates on their final run.
Kristofferson crashed out in the first run.
Norway’s Timon Haugan came second and made his first World Cup podium alongside Austria’s Adrian Pertl in third, who was also on the podium for the first time.
There is a tight battle at the top and new blood is coming through.
This season the men’s slalom competition is probably the most exciting of all the disciplines.
Noel’s win moves him to 550 points in the World Cup slalom standings, just two behind Norway’s leader Henrik Kristoffersen.
The Frenchman is 55 points ahead of Yule, who sits third.
No slalom race can compete with the atmosphere and Chamonix made a decent fist of it with their home win.
A reported 20,000 were slopeside.
The main rivalry here is between the French and the Swiss, with thousands of Daniel Yule fans coming from over the border from Switzerland.
Which fans can make the most noise in the first run?
Here are the Swiss cheering on Daniel Yule:
He was in No 1 position after the first run.
The noise was only rivalled by the locals cheering for the eventual winner, 22-year old Clement Noel from Val d’Isere.
After Dave’s first run he looked satisfied, but clearly wants to do better.
And he had some words of encouragement from the Secretary General of the International Ski Federation who was in the crowd, the former GB racer, Sarah Lewis.
For the French though this was their day, with some surreal celebrations.
A slalom race with two runs and a two hour break in the middle would not be the same without the food and drink.
Slalom racing is a sporting spectacle like no other.
There have been some spectacular results for GB Snowsport athletes elsewhere over the past few days.
Read all the details here: