Olympic champion Clément Noël wins night slalom in Austria

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SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) — French skier Clément Noël won a night slalom Tuesday for his first World Cup victory since winning Olympic gold last February.

Noël was only seventh after the opening leg but used a strong second run to take the lead. Together with 41,500 spectators, he then saw how the top six struggled on the many rolls on the Planai course and failed to beat his time.

“That feels amazing, especially here in Schladming. It’s always incredible here in Schladming,” Noël said. “Today is a perfect day, a perfect race. And the atmosphere was incredible.”

It was the 10th career win for Noël, but first on the World Cup circuit since triumphing at his home race in Val d’Isère in December 2021.

Ramon Zenhäusern of Switzerland climbed from fifth to second, 0.07 seconds behind Noël, and Lucas Braathen came 0.38 back in third.

First-run leader Henrik Kristoffersen lost time following a big mistake in the steep middle section and dropped to 11th. Kristoffersen was eying a record fifth win at the annual night race.

Daniel Yule, who won in Kitzbuehel two days ago, was already 1.18 off the pace after the first run before the Swiss skier skied out in the second.

The result meant that Braathen extended his lead in the discipline standings over Kristoffersen to 41 points as the Norwegian duo remained 1-2 ahead of Yule.

Home favorite Manuel Feller was second after the opening run but finished 0.07 behind Braathen in fourth.

The Austrian led the slalom in Kitzbuehel two days ago but then failed to finish his final run.

Overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt does not compete in slalom. The Swiss skier planned to start in a giant slalom on the same hill Wednesday night.

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