Strasser wins World Cup slalom, ends German 3-year drought

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Linus Strasser won the first men’s World Cup race of 2021 on Wednesday, becoming the first German skier to win a slalom in more than three years.

Strasser mastered the tricky Crveni Spust course as he improved from eighth place after the opening run to lead a trio of Austrians.

He beat Manuel Feller by 0.10 seconds while Marco Schwarz was six-hundredths further back in third. The result sent Feller to the top of the slalom season standings.

Michael Matt was fastest in the second run and climbed from 26th to fourth place.

First-run leader Clement Noel, last year’s winner, posted only the 27th best time in the final run and dropped to seventh.

The previous German slalom winner was Felix Neureuther, who triumphed in Levi, Finland, in November 2017.

It was Strasser’s second career World Cup victory. He won a city event in Stockholm four years ago. His previous best result in slalom was fifth, from a night race in Schladming, Austria, in 2015.

World Cup slalom champion Henrik Kristoffersen shared 10th place with Daniel Yule, 0.70 off the pace.

Alexis Pinturault went to the top of the overall standings after finishing 18th, enough to overtake Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. The defending overall champion from Norway doesn’t compete in slaloms.

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