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Alpine skiing: first podium of the season for Clement Noel in Garmisch, one month from the Worlds

After a disappointing start to the winter, the Olympic champion regained the joys of the podium by finishing third in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen slalom on Wednesday.Clement Noel during the first round of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen slalom, January 4, 2023. (ANGELIKA WARMUTH / DPA)

It’s Christmas after hours! After a complicated start to the season, marked by two exits from the track in the first round in Valley of Isere

and Madonna Di Campiglio, Clement Noel smiled again, Wednesday January 4, 2023. Left with bib number 4, and author of the third time of the first run behind Henrik Kristoffersen and Linus Strasser, the skier from Valley of Isere provided the essentials in second to earn a first podium this season.

On difficult, salty and wet snow, which sent several skiers to the mat, Clement Noel knew how to limit the risk-taking that characterizes him so as not to get trapped and finally finish a race this winter. Under the spotlight of the Bavarian station, he signed a solid second run, just after the reference time of the Austrian Manuel Feller, second in the end. Untouchable in the first and second heats, the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen completes the podium, on the highest step. This is his third victory in the German station.

Pinturault out of the game

One month before the start of the world championships in Courchevel-Meribel (February 6-19), this first podium will do Clement Noel good. Because since his Olympic title acquired in Beijing in February 2022, the Vosgien has not shone with his regularity. At the start of the month of January, which is always decisive and copiously busy for slalomers, the Habs are finally getting their skis upright again.

For the other French in the running, the late Bavarian afternoon was more bitter. Alexis Pinturault finished 13th after a disappointing first run, far ahead of the third tricolor: Victor Muffat-Jeandet. The other skier from Valley of Isere made mistakes twice before finishing 26th, more than 12 seconds behind Kristoffersen. Steven Amiez and Paco Rassat did not compete in the second round.

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