Three days of slalom action at Adelboden draws to a close Sunday afternoon. Frenchman Alexis Pinturault will attempt a World Cup first: three victories in two disciplines throughout a single weekend.
The Bener Oberland resort, known as much for its hospitality as its speed and technical difficulty, is set to serve up a hat trick of its own with a trio of sunny days featuring fast condition for slalom skiers Sunday.
No Spectators, No Parties, No Problem for Frenchman
The race weekend that usually draws more than 25,000 Swiss fans to the historic resort has been subdued due to COVID-19 protocol. No spectators have been allowed to attend what usually is a rolling celebration that sets off in the town’s square and continues on-mountain for the event’s duration.
Though the party is on pause, the men’s action on the snow has lit up the resort, making memorable and sometimes treacherous 72 hours.
Sunday’s traditional slalom to end the fest is full of ski racers who are peaking in mid-season form, and Pinturault (+600 on Bwin) will be challenged mightily to complete the almost impossible trifecta.
On the start list to challenge the dominating Frenchman is Henrik Kristoffersen (+800). He wrapped 2020 with a victory at the World Cup slalom event in Madonna di Campiglio last month and is known for his hot starts in January, with more than half of his total 18 World Cup victories coming in the first 31 days of the year.
Kristoffersen, a legend at 26, still getting into the prime of his career, has already won slalom World Cup events in seven different years. He’s got a particular spot for Adelboden slalom, winning twice there in back-to-back years (2016-’17).
Could it Be Manual Feller’s Day Sunday?
Manual Feller (+700) sits on top of the overall leaderboard in World Cup slalom standings this season. Despite his dominance, the 28-year-old Austrian has yet to win a World Cup slalom race in his career. He’s second four times and has one third-place finish.
Feller’s also skiing for country. Last season Austria failed to win a single men’s slalom event for the first time since the 1991-’92 season. And yet, More good news for Feller is Austrian men love the Adelboden course; winning have won eight World Cup slalom events there, are almost as many as every other country combined (10).
Linus Strasser (+800) is coming off his surprise World Cup slalom win on Jan. 6 in Zagreb. Strasser can become the fourth German skier (including West Germany) to win multiple slalom World Cup events in a season. Felix Neureuther was the most recent German man to win more than one World Cup slalom in a season (2014-’15). No German skier has ever won a World Cup slalom in Adelboden, the country’s best result was second by Fritz Dopfer in 2015.
Foss Solevaag and Brit Dave Ryding Dark Horses Worth a Shot
Those looking for a long shot with a shot can check in on Sebastian Foss Solevaag (+1400), who’s been skiing well this season. The Norwegian technical specialist finished second in Madonna di Campiglio and aims to become the first Norwegian to win a World Cup slalom besides Kristoffersen since Truls Ove Karlsen won in Kranjska Gora in February 2004.
And then there’s the lonely Brit Dave Ryding who, with a win, can become the first skier from Great Britain, male or female, to win a World, period Cup event. It has to happen sometime and at (+25000), why not let it be Sunday?
Odds to Win Men’s World Cup Slalom at Adelboden Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
|S. Foss Solevaag