Noel holds on to win in Kranjska Gora as Schwarz takes Globe

Clement Noel battled his way through the atrocious weather conditions to win his eighth World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora. From rain in the early morning, the weather turned into a tough battle against the weather. This was a day when the racers earned their prize money. Noel took the win ahead of Victor Muffat-Jeandet with Ramon Zenhaeusern taking third. Loic Meillard and Henrik Kristoffersen rounded out the top five. Quinn Estates sponsored racer, Dave Ryding finished in 26th.

These were brutal conditions and the opportunity to take advantage of the conditions and how it would deteriorate meant that racers had to grab the opportunity of an early start on the second run with both hands. German Sebastian Holzmann went first on the second run and managed to pull himself up to 19th by the end of the race, using the clean track to good advantage, others were not so fortunate.

As the race progressed the conditions deteriorated and racers straddled, lost the line, crashed out or made mistakes that saw the weight go It was a day of being smooth own the edges and trying to survive as well as attack.

All battled well, some just tipped over the edge and lost the battle with vision and the conditions.

With the battle for the final places at the World Cup Finals up for grabs, this put just that little bit more pressure on the racers.

Stefano Gross was in the lead courtesy of having posted the fastest time when Quinn Estates's sponsored racer, Dave Ryding left the start gate. Ryding looked in solid form at the top and looked to heading for a solid top twenty result when a few small mistakes crept in but just as he came off the steep in to the finish he lost the skis and went wide into the soft snow.

If ever there had been a test for the recovery of his back after the rigours of Cortina and the season, this would have been it. Ryding battled on and made it to the finish and told the TV camera in the finish 'Don't try this at home.'

Ryding had pulled time back on the leaders until the mistake at the bottom and was putting some solid Lancastrian grit into the battle.

This was a tough end to the day but with his place at the World Cup Finals not in doubt, Ryding can now relax and look forward to one last race of the season.

Gross held on to the lead until the ever popular JB Grange came down and took the lead in his last regular season World Cup race and can now go to the World Cup Finals and have a proper send off having announced his retirement recently.

From there the lead changed hands on a regular basis: Next up was Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, then Fabio Gstrein, then Manuel Feller before Loic Meillard from 7th after the first run stole in to take the lead.

With Marco Schwarz struggling with back pain, a solid run saw him drop down the places but he was safe in the finish.

Victor Muffat-Jeandert then produced one of the performances on the day to grab the lead. The frenchman hashed a tough weekend as he could not get his Giant Slalom skis to work how he wanted them but had his slalom skis on fire in the conditions.

When Alexis Pinturault straddled and then Zenhaeusern went behind him, this left Kristoffersen and Noel to go.

This was not the day for the Norwegian and he dropped off the lead giving France a guaranteed win.

Noel or Muffat-Jeandet

Noel has lead first runs this year and dropped off the pace. This was was not going to happen again surely. Adelboden had seen Noel drop down, not that British fans complained that day as it gave Ryding a podium place.

Falling snow, a deteriorating course and harsh conditions yet Noel battled through and took the win.

A great race but for so many odd reasons. the weather gave the racers a factor that they have hardly had to contend with this season - the falling snow on the goggles and the deteriorating snow conditions because the new snow was falling. Bt this is winter sport and this is World Cup racing.

No joy for Billy Major as he crashed out on the first run on gate six.

As the snow fell, the news on the Globe seeped through and Marco Schwarz is the 2021 World Cup Slalom Champion.

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