L Alpine skiing

Linus Straßer triumphed in Kitzbühel. © APA / GEORG HOCHMUTH

A slightly different home win: A German rocks Kitzbühel

The Kitzbühel weekend ended with the slalom on the Ganslernhang. And there a memorable story took place. The focus: A German ski star.

Sport often writes special stories. Linus Straßer actually comes from Munich, but when it comes to skiing, he is, in a sense, at home in Kitzbühel. Because he always came to the posh resort with his parents for winter holidays as a child, he took his first steps in skiing on the Ganslernhang. He was even a member of the Kitzbühel Ski Club and competed there in his first races as a boy. For some time now, Straßer has been living in Kirchberg, two train stations away from Kitzbühel. Of all places, the 31-year-old celebrated his best victory: He won the slalom on the Ganslernhang!

“It’s unbelievable, it’s come full circle for me,” said an overwhelmed Straßer in an ORF interview after his triumph. Straßer was still in fourth place after the first run, but then conjured up a miracle run on the extremely demanding and icy slope that no one could crack. The half-time leader, surprise man Kristoffer Jakobsen, ended up in second place, while the Swiss Daniel Yule took third place.

Drove a fantastic race: Linus Straßer. © ANSA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA

For Straßer it is the fourth World Cup victory, the third in the slalom. Austria suits him because the young dad had already triumphed in Schladming. “Without Austria, without the commitment and positive fanaticism of the people, I would never have ended up in the World Cup. I am very grateful,” says Straßer.

Numerous failures and Vinatzer's best slalom result

The race on the Ganslernhang was marked by numerous failures. In the first round, only 37 of 69 runners crossed the finish line, and there were four more failures in the decision. Among others, it hit Simon Maurberger, who has to continue to wait for his first World Cup points this season. Tobias Kastlunger got it in the first run, Matteo Canins didn't qualify.

Alex Vinatzer has taken a small step forward. © APA / EXPA/JOHANN GRODER

Alex Vinatzer took a small step forward. The bronze winner of last year's World Cup slalom landed in 16th place and thus achieved the best slalom placement this winter. Of course, the path forward is still a long one. The best Azzurro in Kitzbühel was Tommaso Sala, who took home his second top 9 result this winter with 10th place.

The slalom stars will continue in three days: the night classic is on the program in Schladming on Wednesday. A giant slalom race will be held there under floodlights on Tuesday.


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