Vinatzer leads in Kitzbühel Slalom first run, Ryding in mix

With the change in the weather conditions, the decision to run the Slalom on the Saturday and not on its traditional Sunday place was a great call. Heavy snow fall over night and during the first run would have made the downhill impossible. With these conditions in mind Clement Noel set the early pace before Alex Vinatzer stole the first run lead and pushed Sebastian Foss-Solevaag down to third. The top five are rounded out by Giuliano Razzoli and Marc Rochat with Dave Ryding in sixth.

With the top three separated by just 0.09, this promises to a real high class second run. The course will rut up if the first run is anything to go by as the continued snow falling combined with the 30 that have qualified for the second run will mean that it will get harder with each racer.

Noel made the most of going one and posted a very clean and strong first run to set the pace.World Cup leader, Foss-Solevaag was the only racer to stay in touch with the Frenchman being just 0.01 behind him.

The look on the face of Henrik Kristoffersen as he crossed the line was on of disbelief as he sits 1.68 back in 24th. The benefit for him is that he will have a much better course on the second run to attack.

Ryding was last of the top seeds to go but he skied a very solid run to go into fifth but this would drop to sixth when Rochat came down from 29 to go into fifth. Ryding explained after the run that he has not been feeling great in the lead up to the race but will give the second run his best. Starting just after the last TV break, and a course clean, Ryding will be looking to recreate the form of 2017 when he came second.

Ryding used the market leading Yniq Goggles to good effect in understanding how the slope was working in terms of the bumps and ruts. Vision in these conditions is so important in being able to go fast.

With Ryding safely down, it was down to Billy Major to try and make it two Brits in the second run for the third time in three years. Major, fresh from being selected for the Beijing Olympics as the second male for the GB Team, skied a stunning top section and middle section before getting air off the last drop off gate before the finish.

Major was well within the time required at the last split but the mistake cost him Tim and while he made it into the top thirty in the finish in 29th, he soon dropped to 30 and then it was just a case of would he make it to the second run.

Sadly for Major he missed the cut when Noel von Gruenigen from bib 54 came down and knocked him in to 31. Gutting. This performance though was his best on the World Cup and will hopefully give him the all important belief he can make it into the thirty.

For Laurie Taylor, the disappointment of not making his second Olympics, despite having made World Cup points will be hard to take. Taylor blasted out the start gate on the Ganslern slope but the pressure of trying to make the second run was too much and he crashed out near the top.

This was on the limit weather wise but the race got through and the second run will happen....

Full results - Live timing

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