Feller rises to the challenge in Flachau

Manuel Feller produced the goods to win his first World Cup race after 124 World Cup starts. With five runner up spots and a third place, this was what the Fieberbrunn resident was after. He had seen his close friend Marco Schwarz win the previous week, and take possession of the red bib and said, it was OK for his friend to borrow it! Clement Noel scored his first podium in taking second after having lead on the first run while Marco Schwarz finished third. Sebastian Voss-Solevaag and Linus Strasser rounded out the top five with Quinn Estates sponsored racer Dave Ryding taking seventh.

Coming into the race the talk was of how easy the hill was perceived to be. This was, some explained a Women's Slalom hill and so would be an easy day for the men. In reality, as Daniel Yule found out, from going one on the first run, anything but. Snow conditions were tough and the course settings were very challenging. Add falling snow and this was an intriguing race.

As he has done before, Clement Noel drove his Dynastar skis down the first run fastest ahead of Voss-Solevaag and Feller. Ryding was lurking in 15th knowing that there was more he could do. With Ryding revelling in having Billy Major and Laurie Taylor in the race and being able to provide help with a course report, both racers gave a good account of themselves with Taylor posting 19th best split time at the top.

Sadly neither made it downbeat as they say, tomorrow is another day.

By the time the second run was half way through it was the revitalised Luca Aerni leading.

First up after the break was Ryding.

Talking on German television, Felix Neureuther explained "It is a sheer joy to see him ski down a slalom. Unbelievable that a British guy is an example for us with his control. Marcel Hirscher and I said to each other in the past: If only we had his technique..."

Ryding had been fastest on the first run at the top and was in the mix on the second run. He took the lead at the finish line and held it. He had put up a great fight and put the pressure on those waiting that the start.

Linus Strasser removed Ryding from the leaders seat but this was a vastly different Ryding that had left Zagreb. Hugely different conditions have given him fresh impetus and belief again.

Eventually he would finish in seventh and with this has moved into ninth in the season long standings while cementing his place in the second group on the World Cup Start List in 11th.

With a second race happening on Sunday, Ryding was immediately into a recovery mode ready for the Sunday race where he will start 12 again.

Schwarz came down to take the lead but it was Feller that mastered the conditions to take his first World Cup win and become the fifth different race winner in Slalom this season. Clement Noel produced a solid run but a few mistakes cost him and he dropped into second.

Full results

about author