clearn.png
Monday November 30th, 2020 11:58PM

Norwegian skier Braathen upsets favorites in GS for 1st win

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — Sitting in the leader box, Lucas Braathen buried his head in his hands as he watched each racer after him crossing the finish line at the season-opening men’s World Cup giant slalom Sunday.

But the Norwegian's time held up, even after first-run leader Gino Caviezel completed his second.

Braathen, who had never finished in a World Cup podium position, improved from fifth place after the opening leg to upset the pre-race favorites and clinch his first career win.

“It’s a pretty good day,” the 20-year-old told Austrian TV with a bright smile.

Braathen posted the second fastest time in the decisive leg to finish ahead of Swiss duo Marco Odermatt and Caviezel.

Odermatt, the fastest racer in the second run, was five hundredths behind, and Caviezel trailed by 0.46 seconds for his first career podium.

“A victory's too much to ask for but I know that my mental side is strong, I know my technical skiing has improved a lot, my physics as well,” Braathen said.

“I knew that I was capable of a podium. First victory, first race of the season, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Competing in only his 23th event in the World Cup, Braathen had a fourth place as his previous best result at the slalom in Kitzbuehel in January.

Braathen knew that the challenging Rettenbach glacier is a hill that suits him. Last year he wore bib No. 40 and finished sixth.

Posting the fifth time in the opening run convinced him even more that something was possible on Sunday.

“I went for it. I am not here for fifth places, I am here for podiums,” he said of his attacking second run.

His roommate in the Norwegian team, overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, was among the first to congratulate him, giving him a firm hug.

Kilde didn't leave the venue, staying around to see how his teammate would do, despite failing to finish his first run. Kilde came wide on a left turn and lost his right ski when he caught a bump.

Last year’s winner, Alexis Pinturault, missed the podium by 0.03 seconds in fourth, while GS world champion Henrik Kristoffersen finished in joint fifth place with Loic Meillard, the third Swiss skier in the top five.

Ted Ligety, who won the race a record four times, was 10th after the opening run but the American’s left ski came off early in his second.

With Braathen and Odermatt, who turned 23 this month, a younger generation occupied the top spots in the season's first race.

“You can only dream of such a start to the season,” Odermatt said.

The GS has become a wide-open discipline since the retirement of Marcel Hirscher. The dominant Austrian won the GS season title six times in seven years before ending his career in 2019.

Last season, Kristoffersen scooped the title, but Pinturault, Croatia’s Filip Zubcic and Slovenia's Zan Kranjec all finished within 30 points of the Norwegian’s tally after seven races.

The Russian team was excluded from Sunday’s race after coronavirus tests of two of its coaches came back with unclear results.

The team, including racers Pavel Trikhichev, Alexander Andrienko and Ivan Kuznetsov, was isolated awaiting results of retests.

No spectators were allowed at the race as one of the precautionary health and safety measures amid the pandemic.

The next World Cup races are parallel events for men and women in another Austrian resort, Lech/Zuers, on Nov. 13-14.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Zverev beats Auger-Aliassime in Cologne to end title wait
Alexander Zverev has ended his 17-month wait for a title by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 to win the Cologne Indoors
9:41AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Norwegian skier Braathen upsets favorites in GS for 1st win
Lucas Braathen has upset the pre-race favorites to clinch his first career win at the season-opening men’s World Cup giant slalom
9:36AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Tulsa digs again for victims of 1921 race massacre
A second search for Black victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is to begin in a cemetery
9:35AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Alex Morgan's Tottenham debut delayed for weeks by 'setback'
Alex Morgan’s Tottenham debut won’t be for another few weeks, with the American forward citing a “small setback."
6:30AM ( 3 hours ago )
Swiss skier Caviezel has slim 1st-run lead in season opener
Gino Caviezel has taken a narrow lead in the first run of the season-opening men’s World Cup giant slalom
5:25AM ( 4 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Rookie pitchers set for NLCS Game 7, Rays in WS
The NL Championship Series is headed for Game 7, and the finale could hinge on the performance of two rookie right-handers
1:46AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Sports
Zverev beats Auger-Aliassime in Cologne to end title wait
Alexander Zverev has ended his 17-month wait for a title by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 to win the Cologne Indoors
9:41AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Tulsa digs again for victims of 1921 race massacre
A second search for Black victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is to begin in a cemetery
9:35AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Guinea votes to see if president can extend decade in power
Guinean President Alpha Conde is seeking to extend his decade in power, facing off against his longtime rival Cellou Dalein Diallo for the third time at the polls
9:14AM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Switzerland tightens restictions as COVID grows
Switzerland is introducing new restrictions across the country to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been growing at a record pace in recent days
9:10AM ( 54 minutes ago )
Protesters in Thailand carry on despite police warning
Thousands of mainly young Thais have gone back to the streets of Bangkok for a fifth straight day of protests demanding sweeping political change, with demonstrations also taking place at several other locations around the country
9:08AM ( 57 minutes ago )