Alex Vinatzer missed the medal. © APA / EXPA / JOHANN GRODER
It didn’t want to be: Alex Vinatzer narrowly missed a medal in the decision after an outstanding first run in the Cortina d’Ampezzo slalom. In the end, there were two athletes at the top who were not necessarily to be expected.
February 21, 2021
After his epidemic in January (five failures in a row), Alex Vinatzer reported back impressively in the World Cup slalom of all things. The coronation, i.e. a medal, was denied to him. In the end, the 21-year-old had to make do with the ungrateful fourth place. Nevertheless, it was a strong sign of life from Val Gardena.
The numerous intensive training sessions in the last few days have paid off for Alex Vinatzer. You could see that in the first round: the uncertainty and caution that characterized his appearance in January disappeared in one fell swoop.
The man from Val Gardena attacked, risked, skied really well and finished second at halftime, only beaten by Austrian sensation Adrian Pertl. Ski South Tyrol rightly dreamed of winning the first medal at this World Cup.
A strange second round
The decision was characterized by a specialty: Because the FIS feared that the slope would be severely degraded, it was decided that the 15th would open the second round – and not the athlete who was in 30th position as traditionally. That’s why the ski stars took full risk in the decision from the start, which is why some top people like Marco Schwarz were eliminated.
The medal was within reach for Alex Vinatzer: During his journey, however, the man from Val Gardena accumulated a gap of more than a second due to several small mistakes, which is why he came in third behind Sebastian-Foss Solevåg and Henrik Kristoffersen.
Vinatzer has reported back, but narrowly missed a medal. © APA / EXPA / JOHANN GRODER
Now the tremors began: Will Adrian Pertl, the sensation leader from the first round, manage to keep his nerve and reach the finish line? The answer was yes.
The 24-year-old Austrian, who has only been on the World Cup podium once, lost quite a bit of time, but fought like a lion and ended up on the silver rank. As a result, Vinatzer was pushed to fourth place.
A surprise men’s race
The last day of the World Cup in Cortina was all about sensational men: Nobody had really expected Sebastian-Foss Solevåg as the new world champion beforehand – even if the Norwegian is driving the season of his life this year and his first World Cup victory a month ago could celebrate. Third went to Henrik Kristoffersen, who won his first World Championship medal in slalom.
New slalom world champion: Sebastian-Foss Solevåg. © APA / afp / FABRICE COFFRINI
Manfred Mölgg showed a strong performance in his possibly last World Championship race: After finishing 20th at half time, he was able to make up a few places in the decision and is 14th in the final ranking.
The speed women will be in action in Val di Fassa the next weekend, while the giant slalom runners will be racing in Bansko.