Foss-Solevåg celebrates thrilling night slalom win in Madonna
Never say never, Sebastian Foss-Solevåg must have been thinking when the 68th edition of 3Tre night slalom suddenly lived its twist of fate: Clement Noel was leading confidently until the final gates, when an incredible mistake at the very last bend took him away a second straight win that looked sure by then. That was the final act of the 68th 3Tre, that ensured plenty of emotions in the night of Wednesday December 22nd.
Arguably the main favorite on the day, Noel will have to wait for his 10th World Cup win, and France keeps looking for 3Tre glory since Patrice Bianchi’s success in 1992. On the other hand, Norway keeps ruling in Madonna, in spite of Kristoffersen straddling a gate in the midst of a strong second run.
Stepping on the podium was another Frenchman, overall World Cup holder Alexis Pinturault, whilst Swede Kristoffer Jakobsen took his second straight podium after having secured the first in his career just a few days back in Val d’Isere.
Madonna di Campiglio gave another unbelievable emotion to the public, finally back on the Canalone Miramonti though in reduced numbers (3500 people) to celebrate one of the most charming events in alping ski. The Italian team rewarded the enthusiasm of their fans with three top-ten finishes: Alex Vinatzer was fourth at the foot of the podium, veteran Giuliano Razzoli was a strong seventh, whilst Simon Maurberger ended in 10th place.
The two runs on the perfect terrain of the Canalone Miramonti slope helped to enhance the skills of the best interpreters of today’s slalom, also confirming the indications emerged from the first seasonal effort in the discipline: Noel seems like the fastest at the moment, but World Champion Foss-Solevåg is consistent like never before, Jakobsen is emerging as a contender for the top spots, Vinatzer looks closer and closer to the breakout, and Kristoffersen keeps oscillating between underwhelming performances and classy displays.
The challenge in the slalom looks open as ever in the buildup to the Olympic, with no real leader taking over the reins left by Marcel Hirscher two seasons ago.
Sebastian Foss-Solevåg: “I am very happy, though I must say that Clement Noel had been the fastest today, and I am really sorry for him. Since the end of last year something clicked for me, I managed to gain stability from race to race, and today I felt comfortable from the very beginning. Having the people back to the slope was great, they really brought an all-different atmosphere.”
Alexis Pinturault: “Today I managed to attack through both runs, while doing very little mistakes. It’s a shame that Noel saw a comfortable win vanish like this, but I am sure he will make up for it in the coming races. Though in reduced numbers compared to the usual 3Tre, the people on the slope provided an all-different atmosphere. 2021 was the year of my first World Cup: in this new season I am improving race after race, as I hope to be at my best for the Olympics.”
Kristoffer Jakobsen: “It was a very good start to the season for me, and I am happy with my result tonight too. I love the Canalone Miramonti, it’s an amazing slope, technical and interesting from start to finish, racing here is always great. After two podiums in a row, I will look to keep improving and take it one race at the time.“
Alex Vinatzer: “I was very satisfied with my race at the finish, but my time was immediately beaten, and that stung a bit. Anyway, I am happy with my display, particularly in the second run when I found the right rhythm and managed to be fast.”
Lorenzo Conci (3Tre Committee President): “Returing to see the people at 3Tre made me happy, it was the best part of a great night of sports. We got excellent feedbacks from the FIS, the teams and the athletes, and generally got back to breath that magic atmosphere that has always characterized this event. Feeling that the people who come here are happy and enjoying the experience is the ultimate fulfillment for us.”
Tullio Serafini (Madonna di Campiglio Tourist Board President): "Having the people back to Canalone Miramonti was the greatest thing of this 3Tre’s edition. In spite of limited numbers, 3Tre was certainly the event of the year for our destination: an incredible race with the top athletes in the World, and a moment of celebration for the people of Madonna and the visitors. Events like this, with a significant media impact, give us the opportunity to promote our area to everywhere in the World.”
Maurizio Rossini (Trentino Marketing CEO): “3Tre is a can’t-miss fixture for Trentino, a key opener of our winter season and a way to establish Madonna di Campiglio among the most organized and attractive winter destinations in the World. We have enjoyed an amazing race on a perfectly prepared slope: that’s part of what makes 3Tre one of the favorite races for the athletes of the White Circus.”
Madonna di Campiglio (Italy), December 22nd, 2021