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Alpine Skiing World Championships: Clément Noël, candidate for the slalom title among… so many others


At the end of the fortnight in Courchevel, the men's slalom promises to be a very undecided event this Sunday, where Clément Noël carries France's hopes against dense and tough opposition.

Defending champion: Sebastian Foss-Solevaag

Crowned in 2021 in Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy), in addition to the gold in the mixed team parallel, then Olympic bronze medalist in the slalom a year ago in Beijing: after two good seasons, it's a void for the Norwegian.

Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (31) has disappeared this season in the World Cup, finishing only four of the eight slaloms he has competed in.

He had to wait for the last race before the Worlds, in Chamonix, to obtain his best result: a fifth place.

Potential favourites: Henrik Kristoffersen and Lucas Braathen

Among the Norwegians, it is therefore not towards Foss-Solevaag but rather towards Henrik Kristoffersen that all eyes will be on, even if the icy track is not his favorite playground.

Fifth from the giant on the Eclipse, the skier with 23 victories in World Cup slaloms represents the best “norge” hopes.

Unless the young Lucas Braathen surprises?

Operated following appendicitis just before the start of the World Championships, the 22-year-old skier, already winner of five World Cup races, will participate well in slalom, he who is the leader of the discipline in the World Cup.

The French: Clement Noel

Olympic champion in Beijing last year, Clément Noël carries the last blue hopes, in these Worlds disputed in Savoie.

In addition to the gratin of world skiing, the Vosgien will have another opponent... himself.

In ten races contested this winter, the 25-year-old skier has only finished four, a sign of his irregularity.

“I have a chance but I have to accept taking risks, like in Beijing.

In the last two races I showed good skiing (victory in Schladming, outing in Chamonix) and in training I'm fine, he said on Monday.

Anyway in slalom if you don't take the risk you can't claim the podium.

Leader of the France team, Alexis Pinturault will also set off, probably released after having already succeeded in his Worlds (combined gold, super-G bronze).

It will be the

one of the last slaloms in the career of "Pintu", who wishes, at 31, to progress in speed events.

The young Steven Amiez and Léo Anguenot, 24, will also be there.

The number: 11

Eight World Cup races this winter, eleven different skiers on the podium.

This figure illustrates the random nature of slalom, a discipline where the slightest technical error can lead to disqualification.

In addition to Noël, Kristoffersen and Braathen, the Swiss Ramon Zenhäusern and Daniel Yule won races.

The unexpected AJ Ginnis even became the first Greek to stand on a World Cup podium in alpine skiing history, with his second place in Chamonix in early February.

An illustration of the density of the discipline, where nearly fifty skiers are close to the world's top level.

The program

The last event of these Worlds will start at 10:00 a.m. on the Eclipse in Courchevel.

The Swiss Loïc Meillard will open hostilities with bib 1, before his compatriot Daniel Yule.

The Norwegians Henrik Kristoffersen and Lucas Braathen will also follow one another, with bibs 6 and 7. Alexis Pinturault will be the first Frenchman in action with bib 9, while Clément Noël was not very lucky in the draw with bib 15, which could be a problem if the track were to deteriorate over the passages.

However, this should not be the case if we are to believe the excellent work done so far.

Steven Amiez will start in 36th position and Léo Anguenot in 47th.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-02-18

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