Strolz takes commanding lead on run 1 in Flachau

Johannes Strolz produced a blistering run in the first run to take a commanding lead of 0.97 ahead of the rest of the field in the World Cup Slalom in Flachau. Atle Lie McGrath is a surprised second with Clement Noel, the Olympic Champion in third. The top five are rounded out by Daniel Noel in fourth and Britain's Dave Ryding in fifth. Laurie Taylor is in 17th.

Flachau is famous for the rollers down the course and it was the course set over the last roller that was the talk of the finish area. First man out of the gate was Henrik Kristoffersen and he made a mess of things. Kristoffersen, leading the tour standings com ing into the second last race of the season, was too fast over the roller and had to take the following hairpin the wrong way and lost a lot of time. Kristoffersen would finish 2.67 off the pace but crucially in the top thirty in 28th. Second run charge? You better believe it.

If Kristoffersen made a mess, his teammate, Sebastian Foss Solevaag also messed it up but was a little more on the ball and recovered to take 8th place.

Next out the gate was Dave Ryding, one of the racers in with a chance of taking the Globe. Ryding was cautious but crucially he got the important gate over the roller right and took the lead comfortably over the two Norwegians. A twist of the head in the finish said it all, he could have skied faster but he was in the finish and in the lead. The dream was still alive.

Strolz came down and put a fantastic performance in to take the lead and no one could match. McGrath did his best but is still alm out a second back but this race is still up for grabs.

Major was next out the gate of the British racers but he was too cautious and dropped out of contention. Taylor learnt from his teammates and attacked the course and was rewarded with 17th for his second qualification this season.

The first run saw the retirement of Manfred Moelgg, the 2008 Slalom Globe winner. A veteran of 329 starts on the World Cup, Moelgg was disappointed not to be selected for the Olympics and this pushed him towards retirement.

With just 0.12 separating second to fifth, it is all to race for on the second run. Places for the World Cup Finals are up for grabs. The top 25 overall from the tour with get these....

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