Zenhausern takes career win number 2, Ryding happy with tenth

Ramon Zenhausern came from eighth after the first run in Alta Badia to win his second World Cup Slalom race. The changing conditions from the day before meant that the race was beset with changing snow conditions and this had an impact on the outcome of the race. Manuel Feller was delighted to take second place with March Schwarz just a hundredth behind him in third. The top five were rounded out by first run leader Alex Vinatzer and Victor Muffat-Jeandet. Britain's Dave Ryding took tenth place.

The day before the conditions had seen some brutal conditions with racers struggling to hold an edge down the steep sections. Come slalom race day and the weather had warmed up and this saw a completely different complexion on the slope. 2.22 seconds separated the top thirty and a clean run on the second run would be a huge bonus.

Sweden's Kristoffer Jakobsen put the fastest run in from going second and this saw him climb 17 places and finish in 12th place. Jakobsen stayed in the lead until Manuel Feller came own and went three quarters of a second into the lead. This opened things up for the whole race.

The deteriorating conditions meant that tactics came into play and used the rut rather than fighting the rut was a priority for the racers.

The warmer and softer snow played havoc with most of the racers including Dave Ryding. "Had you asked me if I would have taken tenth before the race, my answer would have been yes," he explained after the race.

"My first run was alright," Ryding explained not long after he had arrived in Madonna for the night race on Tuesday. "You never know whether the feeling transmits into a good time but I was happy with the gap to the lead when I came down."

"I gave the second run too much respect at the top," Ryding admitted. "At the bottom it was good," he added.

"All in all it was a solid start to the season and happy to have people like Pinturault behind me," Ryding explained. The season normally starts at one of the favourite stops for Ryding, in Levi, Finland. Due to the pandemic, there was no stop for the men there this year and the hastily rearranged calendar sees the men now race in Madonna di Campiglio next in another of the favoured slopes for Ryding.

While Ryding slipped a few places on the second run, he also pulled a few back as others made errors. 26 points is a solid start to the season for him and shows that his summer training had gone well.

Ryding was quick to point out how the GB Snowsport team had worked hard to get the athletes on snow early. Working closely with governmental authorities to work around the quarantine restrictions meant that Ryding and the rest of the British athletes were able to be ready for the start of the season. "It was a big team effort," Ryding was keen to point out.

This year sees Ryding back on the Fischer skis and he has hit the ground running he feels. "The biggest difference I have found this summer is that with Covid, everything just takes longer!"

For Billy Major, making his World Cup debut after some stunning early season results that included winning the Swiss National Slalom title, this was an experience. major came out on the first run near the top but he can now say he has raced in a World Cup race.

Laurie Taylor, starting last in the race after having focussed the World Cup last season and Covid then ruining any chance for him to score FIS points, he was always up against it he felt. "Was pretty tough with the track, and I just didn’t adjust well to that. I was behind it from the start."

Zenhausern took the win in his first race in eleven months and he admitted to having nerves in the run up to the race but was delighted with the outcome.

For first run leader, Alex Vinatzer, this was a cruel finish as he finished seven hundredths off the podium. A learning experience and he is hungry for more.

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