Windingstad emerges triumphant in Alta Badia Parallel

On a night of surprises it was Norway’s Rasmus Windingstad that came through to win the Altas Badia Parallel Giant slalom event, beating Stefan Luitz in the final with Roland Leitinger winning the small final against Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen.

The night had many shocks with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde springing one of the biggest in posting the fastest qualifying time. Kilde posted the fastest time on the red course in qualification with Henrik Kristoffersen posting the fastest time on the blue course. The surprises did not stop there as the likes of Kjetil Jansrud, Daniel Yule , Roberto Nani and Marco Schwarz all failed to make the top 32. It was encouraging to see some of the big names of Slalom, like Yule and Schwarz, mix it with the speed skiers like Steve Nyman and others. With only 32 places, racers no matter what their speciality had to fight their way into the qualification places.

Windingstad faced up against Kilde in the second round and beat his fellow Norwegian. Lower down the table, there were some big shocks with Alexis Pinturault going out to young Swedish racer Mattias Roenngren.

With the usual amounts of money and World Cup points on offer, some racers it was surprising to see missing the event. 100 points on the World Cup is still 100 points and you could feel the frustration of Henrik Kristoffersen as he was first beaten in the quarter finals and then beaten again in the losers semi final before winning the race of for seventh and eighth against Justin Murisier. Valuable points slipping out of his grasp for the Overall! With Pinturault finishing in 25th, this was damage limitation as he extended his lead at the top of the standings.

Two young racers made their mark in taking good strong performances as Lucas Braathen and Mattias Roenngren finished fifth and sixth for career best results to date.

When it came to the final it was a one run affair and despite Luitz charging out of the gate fastest, Windingstad caught him by the first jump and then went all risk to take a fist World Cup win. Having scored a first podium at the end of last season, Windingstad produced a great lower section to take a first win. After the race he commented:

“It was absolutely amazing. I cannot say that I was expecting to win any time soon. It is like this ladder you climb. You have to be as honest as possible with yourself about what are potential or possible goals but today. Today I felt great from beating Kilde. From their on out I tried to ski normal and felt like the tracks were getting a little more on my side.”

Windingstad paid tribute to the whole Norwegian team as without them, “I may have quit many years ago,” he reflected. “I am getting to be one of the more experienced ones now and this is working out really well. We had parallel training three days ago and I was definitely not the fastest one! I think we have something to look forward to in this discipline going forward.”

With Slalom Parallel’s also on the programme, the definitive nature of the racing, makes this a real crowd pleaser.

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