Nestvold-Haugen leads down the Gran Risa after run one

On a day that there winter weather Gods brought snow and fog across Europe, a supreme effort by the organisers saw the start lowered down by about ten gates and an army of course crew shovelled snow off the course. Norway’s Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen leads after run one with Marco Odermatt in second and Alexis Pinturault in third. Marco Schwarz blasted his way into fourth from a bib number of 16 while Aleksander Aamodt Kilde stunned the crowd in taking fifth place from bib 32.

Two big names have dropped out of the race with Ted Ligety, a past winner here, and Matts Olsson both crashing out after the blind roller. With 1.61 seconds being the mark to make the second run, those around the cusp could not rest until all the racers were down. The last two out of the start gate had a decent racing pedigree and Lucas Braathen, a the rising star of the Norwegian team that sat in 30th and final qualifying place, had to endure the wait of seeing if Michael Matt, a World Cup Slalom race winner, or Albert Popov, the tremendously talented Bulgarian, could better his time. Neither could.

Stefan Luitz, World Cup race winner last season in Beaver Creek was bumped out of the qualifying places by Hannes Zingerle (Italy), the last racer to qualify, from bib 45.

Britain’s Charlie Raposo did not race due to injury despite being on the start list.

Run two promises to be a tight affaire with Nestvold-Haugen looking to back up the podium he took in Beaver Creek in the last Giant Slalom with a win.

Start list for run 2

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