Kristoffersen holds nerve to win third FIS World Cup slalom title

Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen brought down the curtain on the 2021/2022 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season by finishing second in Méribel to claim his third slalom title and finish third overall behind Swiss star Marco Odermatt.

Kristoffersen came into the last men’s race of the season leading compatriot Lucas Braathen by 48 points with German Linus Strasser, Austrian Manuel Feller and Swiss Daniel Yule also in the hunt.

It was Braathen, though, who claimed the initiative after the first run with the best time of 43.69s seeing him lead Kristoffersen by 0.05s with Frenchman Clément Noël in fourth, Swiss Loïc Meillard fifth, Italian Alex Vinatzer tied for 10th and France’s Alexis Pinturault tied for 18th.

In the second run, Vinatzer slipped back down to 18th to finish the season 13th in slalom and Pinturault finished in 14th on the day to end the season 16th in slalom and 10th overall after his title triumph last season.

Meillard also ran out of gas after a long season to finish 12th, sixth in slalom and 11th overall, while Noël skied out in the second run to end the season ninth in slalom and 31st overall.

Third from last, Norwegian Atle Lie McGrath produced a classy second run which Kristoffersen fell short of by 0.37s next man down – after nearly skiing out with a few gates left – however it was enough to seal the title as Braathen produced a messy second run last man down the mountain.

It was 27-year-old Kristoffersen’s third slalom title after 2016 and 2020 to go alongside his 2020 giant slalom title, 2019 World Championship giant slalom gold, 2021 World slalom bronze and two Olympics medals.

Kristoffersen’s 451 slalom points was 90 ahead of Austrian Manuel Feller with McGrath rising to third and Braathen down to fourth as Kristoffersen overtook Austrian Matthias Mayer in the overall standings to claim third place behind Odermatt and fellow Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.

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